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January 6, 2017 | Gastroenterology
Because the body is complex and has so many working parts, there are areas of medicine where a doctor focuses on a specific part of the body. This is called specialized medicine, and there are many doctors in dozens of different specialized fields all over the map.
One of these fields, gastroenterology, is the study and treatment of the digestive organs in the human body. Doctors in this field, known as gastroenterologists, receive specialized medical training and devote their practice to preventing and treating all conditions of the gastrointestinal tract and the rest of the digestive system.
A large part of a gastroenterologist’s practice is preventive in nature – focused on staving off diseases like cancer, polyps, ulcers and others. This makes gastroenterology a vital part of Revere Health’s value-based care initiative, which focuses on preventive care and flexible, affordable healthcare solutions that directly address issues without over-prescribing or over-charging.
So what exactly is a gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterologists complete the same undergraduate medical programs as most doctors, but they complete two extra steps that add significant training:
Doctors receive training on everything including standard colonoscopy procedures to more specific testing and treatment. They learn how to treat patients in both an office and hospital setting.
By the end of training, a gastroenterologist has completed up to five or six years of preparation. They have training in general medicine and the skills to recognize and treat gastrointestinal conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common conditions they manage.
The human digestive system is complex, and gastroenterologists have a large number of moving parts to keep track of including:
All these various parts work together, and it’s the gastroenterologist’s job to know exactly how this works – which organs relate to each other, how they connect and, most importantly, how things look if they’re not functioning properly. Any disruption in the system can create larger problems, and gastroenterologists have to know how to spot changes from the norm.
Some of the most common diseases and conditions that gastroenterologists treat include:
The full list of diseases that gastroenterologists treat helps prove just how important this medical field is.
There are many kinds of tests or procedures a gastroenterologist may use. Some of the most common include:
If you are experiencing any symptoms involving the gastrointestinal tract, consult your doctor.
“What is a Gastroenterologist?” American College of Gastroenterology. http://patients.gi.org/what-is-a-gastroenterologist/
“Gastroenterology and Hepatology.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/gastroenterology-hepatology/services
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.