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What is a Gastroenterologist?

digaram explaining what gastroenterology is | GI NorthAmong the seemingly endless medical specialties, gastroenterology may sound like just another long, confusing name. If referred to a gastroenterologist, there’s no need to be in the dark. Learn what it takes to become a gastroenterologist, what conditions they treat and procedures they perform, and why a patient might be referred to one.

Requirements

In order to become a specialist in gastroenterology, a lot of study and preparation is required. Requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree, often in a scientific field.
  • Attendance at a medical school, which includes study, instruction, and clinical rotations in most specialties
  • Achieving a license to practice medicine
  • Certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine

Optionally:

  • A fellowship in gastroenterology
  • Certification from the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery(1)


These qualifications require many years, a lot of money, and a desire to help heal.

The Field of Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology involves treating conditions of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas, gall bladder, bile ducts, and liver.(2) While that may seem like a lot of body parts, they all relate to the digestive system.

Conditions Treated and Procedures Performed

Common conditions like heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, gall stones, and ulcers fall under the purview of gastroenterology. Less common conditions such as biliary tract disorders or rare nutritional diseases are also treated by gastroenterologists.

Procedures performed include colonoscopies, barium swallows, CT scans, gastric bypass surgeries, and biopsies. Many gastroenterology procedures are simple and allow a patient to return home the same day.

Patient Referral

If a doctor suspects a gastrointestinal issue, or has unsuccessfully attempted treatment of such a condition, a patient may be referred to a gastroenterology practice. A referral does not necessarily mean that a serious condition is present, only that the symptoms or conditions are beyond the scope of the referring doctor.

If a gastroenterology visit is needed, residents of the North Atlanta area are fortunate to have GI North and doctors Confrancesco and Quijano. Spanish speakers are welcome, as Dr. Quijano is a fluent in Spanish. Patients coming from Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, Suwanee and beyond can be assured that they will receive the top in gastroenterological care at GI North in a comfortable, professional setting.

Sources:

1) How to Become a Gastroenterologist
2) What is a Gastroenterologist?

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