Gastroenterologists specialise in disorders affecting the digestive tract, liver, intestines, colon, gallbladder and pancreas. They treat conditions like bowel cancer, Crohn’s disease, polyps in the colon, liver disease, IBS, constipation, and diarrhoea. Gastroenterologists deal with acute luminal gastroenterological or hepatological conditions. They manage liver disease, emergency bleeding and chronic conditions, and they can recognise and manage common co-morbidities. They conduct physical examinations and press on areas of the stomach to listen for odd sounds or feel for masses. They may perform a colonoscopy, endoscopy or gastroscopy or provide therapeutic endoscopic interventions. Gastroenterologists subspecialise in a complex care area of hepatology or gastroenterology. They create treatment plans which can incorporate a range of therapies, education, and collaboration with surgeons for surgical interventions. These specialists consult directly with patients in outpatient clinics, provide expertise to primary care physicians and inpatient medical teams, and provide emergency, follow up and ongoing care to patients. To work in this field, doctors complete foundation and core training, and apply to undertake JRCPTB higher specialty training in Gastroenterology, together with IM training, which takes approximately 4-years to complete and leads to fellowship and specialty registration with the GMC.
Registrars (Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology) are registered doctors who have completed their medical degree, foundation and core training (three years of Internal Medicine (IM) stage 1 or Acute Care Common Stem). They can apply for specialty registrar positions, or positions at ST3+ level, and broaden and refine their scope of practice and gain experience, skills and competency in their chosen area of medicine. Registrars are very important members of the integrated and multi-disciplinary health care team. They have increasing responsibility for patient care, oversee and support junior doctors and staff, participate in professional development activities and continue to receive important guidance, training, and support from senior staff. Registrars who work in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, work in specialist inpatient and outpatient clinics in hospitals, providing specialised secondary care, emergency and acute care. Registrars who want to specialise in this field of medicine can undertake JRCPTB higher specialty training in Gastroenterology.
Nurses (Gastroenterology) work in gastroenterology, hepatology, colorectal and acute surgical settings in hospitals and clinics. They provide patient-centred nursing care, which may include assessment of patient needs, planning and coordination of service delivery, assisting the gastroenterologist during procedures, and assisting with the integration of patient care between medical departments, and other rehabilitation or allied health services.