Gastroenterology Defined

Gastroenterology defined…

The study of gastroenterology is comprised of the function and disorders of the digestive system which include the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. Without the proper function of these organs, the ability to break down and absorb foods throughout the body becomes difficult or nearly impossible.  The specialty of Gastroenterology is a subspecialty of Internal Medicine and requires extensive training and knowledge.

“Gastroenterology involves a detailed understanding of the normal action of the gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine, the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ.” from the American College of Gastroenterology

The specialty of Gastroenterology…

Commonly referred to as “GI” specialists, a gastroenterologist is a highly trained authority in the study of the human digestive system.  Gastroenterology demands a specialist to have a unique combination of scientific knowledge, training in Internal Medicine, endoscopic experience and skills, and the talent to incorporate this knowledge to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Gastroenterologists are required to complete an Internal Medicine residency of three years before becoming eligible for Fellowship training.  Once completing their two to three year fellowship training; Gastroenterologists have 5 to 6 years of specialized knowledge in addition to medical school.  The rigorous intense program is overseen by groups such as the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and the American Gastroenterological Association.  Throughout the 5 to 6 year educational experience, these organizations carefully monitor the programs to ensure the highest level of training for each candidate.  For a physician to become Board Certified, they must then be tested by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  If successful, they are then granted the honor of becoming a Board Certified Gastroenterologist.


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