Duties and responsibilities
Gastroenterologist are internists who investigate, diagnose, treat and prevent all gastrointestinal (stomach and intestine) and hepatological (liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas) illnesses and disease. Their typical responsibilities and duties include:
- Consulting with patients to understand their health concerns
- Performing tests to diagnose a patients condition
- Determining proper courses of treatment
- Analyzing a patients historical data
- Consulting with other specialists and referring patients if necessary
- Performing endoscopic procedures to inspect internal organs
- Performing X-Ray, MRI, and ultrasound scanning
- Performing surgery in the digestive tract
Like all physicians, gastroenterologists must complete a bachelor’s degree program before attending medical school. Medical schools are extremely selective, and prospective students must have excellent collegiate grades, get good scores on the Medical College Admission Test, and possess letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals. Once medical school is completed, gastroenterologists must complete a residency period that specializes in gastroenterology. After residency, all gastroenterologists must pass the national licensing exam.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing all the relevant medical training, gastroenterologist will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as gastroenterologists will need to communicate with patients other medical processionals
- Compassion, as gastroenterologists will be approached by patients in pain or distress and must be understanding and compassionate
- Problem solving skills, as gastroenterologists will need to find the solutions to a wide range of internal problems
- Attention to detail, as gastroenterologists need to spot issues with a patients internal system
- Dexterity, as gastroenterologists may also perform digestive track surgery so therefore must be goof with their hands
Most gastroenterologists will work full time, but part time positions may be available. Gastroenterologists may be on call and they may have to work long and irregular hours.
According to salary.com, the average annual salary for a gastroenterologist in the United States was $384,856 as of 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $270,287 per year and the highest 10% earned over $517,770 per year.
There will always be a demand for gastroenterologist as we will always have stomach and other internal organ issues that need to be addressed! Gastroenterologists may progress further to opening their own medical practice or becoming a team leader.