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A Gastroenterologist is an internal medicine specialist involved in all aspects of the digestive system and this also includes diseases of the pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
A Gastroenterologist completes 4 years of additional training in Internal Medicine before embarking on 3 years of sub-specialty training in Gastroenterology.

A Gastroenterologist is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disease. He/she will often perform procedures such as a gastroscopy, colonoscopy, ERCP, PEG tube placement, endoscopic ultrasound or small intestine enteroscopy.

Some Gastroenterologists may have a specific interest in certain conditions such as liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic diseases or clinical nutrition.

A Gastroenterologist is not a surgeon but will often work in tandem with a surgeon as many gastrointestinal diseases are treated with surgery.

A Gastroenterologist does not treat cancer but will often perform tests to diagnose cancer and will work closely with an Oncologist in treating cancer patients.

It is very important to realise that in South Africa other doctors (GPs, general surgeons, general physicians) may also perform endoscopy procedures but may not have the accompanying Gastroenterology training. close