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What is a gastroenterologist?

A gastroenterologist is a medical professional who specializes in diseases and conditions that affect the digestive organs and structures.

These parts of the body include the:

  • esophagus, or food pipe
  • stomach
  • small intestine
  • colon
  • rectum
  • pancreas
  • gallbladder
  • bile ducts
  • liver

To become a gastroenterologist, a doctor must complete a 3 year internal medicine residency after medical school. Following this residency, they will undertake 2–3 years of intense, specialized training called a fellowship.

Once they become qualified, gastroenterologists often work closely with other healthcare professionals to provide care to a wide range of people.

A gastroenterologist may work with:

  • hepatologists, who specialize in the liver
  • radiologists, who specialize in imaging
  • oncologists, who specialize in cancer