Gastroenterology is the subspecialty of internal medicine where the digestive system and its disorders are analysed. A Gastroenterologist is a doctor who deals with problems related with the digestive tract such as the oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestines (colon), pancreas and liver. They may make tests and treatments, and in some cases make surgery.

How to become a gastroenterology

To become a gastroenterologist you need to complete a two to four year hospital residency specializing in internal medicine. Once residency is done, students take board certification to become a licensed and certified doctor. Then, for an additional two to three years, they study conditions particular of the GI tract, in which will learn various diagnostic procedures like colonoscopy.

All doctors, including Gastroenterologists, are obliged to take continued education courses to maintain licensure.

Nature of the work

Gastroenterologists do not make surgery. They may, however, make procedures like liver biopsy and inspections of the oesophagus, stomach, small and large bowel, through the application of special flexible medical instruments called endoscopes.

If surgery is needed, they work with surgeons to choose the most excellent operation for a patient and give medical care following surgery.

Gastroenterologists normally work in hospitals or private practice. They work directly with primary care doctors and surgeons to help and refer patients.


The annual salary for a gastroenterologist goes from $270,000 to $319,000