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This Specialist Treats Many Different Types Of Digestive Disease


Updated May 27, 2014

Palpating the Abdomen

A gastroenterologist is a doctor who is concerned with digestion, and may perform a physical exam on the abdomen to help locate the cause of discomfort.

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A gastroenterologist has a particular interest in diseases digestive tract. To become proficient in the treatment and management of these conditions, a gastroenterologist must undergo training in both internal medicine and advanced training in problems of the digestive tract.


A gastroenterologist must first complete a 4-year college degree followed by 4 years of medical school at which time they receive a medical degree. The next step is a 3-year residency in internal medicine. At that time a physician may elect to continue on to a specialty in gastroenterology.

A gastroenterology fellowship is 2 to 3 years during which a physician learns to evaluate and manage digestive diseases. This training encompasses conditions that may be seen in an office or in a hospital setting and instruction in how to perform diagnostic endoscopy procedures, such as colonoscopy. In all, a gastroenterologist has undergone a minimum of 13 years of formal classroom education and practical training before becoming a certified gastroenterologist.


A gastroenterologist that is certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery must have proficiency in diagnosing and treating the following conditions:


A gastroenterologist must also be proficient in treating and managing the following signs and symptoms:

Signs and Symptoms

And in performing the following tests:

  • Colon screening exams
  • Esophageal and intestinal dilation
  • Hemostasis
  • Polypectomy

Locate a Gastroenterologist:

American College of Gastroenterology
The American Gastroenterological Society
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
UCompare Healthcare - Gastroenterology


American College of Gastroenterology. "What is a Gastroenterologist?" American College of Gastroenterology 2006. 20 Jan 2014.

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