Gastroenterologist Education & Training

Gastroenterologist Education & Training

A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the digestive system, also called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastroenterologists have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), and biliary system (e.g., liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts). Gastroenterology is a subspecialty of internal medicine.

Gastroenterologists have a thorough understanding of how food moves through the digestive tract (called motility) and the physical and chemical break down of food (digestion), including the absorption of nutrients and the removal of waste products. Gastroenterologists also focus on the digestive function of the liver.

Gastroenterologists usually care for patients in an office or hospital setting, including nursing homes and outpatient surgical centers. They often serve as consultants to other physicians and may work in the research field. Gastroenterologists specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of the following symptoms and conditions:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Cancer (e.g., colorectal cancer, stomach [gastric] cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer)
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Diverticular disease and other diseases of the colon (e.g., polyps, irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], colitis, Crohn’s disease)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Inflammation of the digestive tract (e.g., gastritis)
  • Liver disease (e.g., hepatitis, jaundice)
  • Malabsorption disorders (e.g., celiac disease, lactose intolerance)
  • Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting
  • Ulcers
  • Unexplained weight loss

A minimum of 13 years of education and extensive training is required to become a gastroenterologist. Students interested in gastroenterology should focus on undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. After attaining an undergraduate degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science) or a postgraduate (advanced; e.g., Master’s) degree, most students attend a 4-year medical school. Upon graduation from medical school, physicians are awarded either a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.

The next step in becoming a gastroenterologist is a 3-year program of special study and training called a general internal medicine residency. Following completion of this residency, the physician (internist) may continue on to specialize in gastroenterology by entering a gastroenterology fellowship.

A gastroenterology fellowship is an intense 2- or 3-year program, during which the physician receives extensive training in diseases and conditions of the digestive tract. Organizations such as the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterological Association oversee gastroenterology fellowships to ensure a high quality of education and training.

Gastroenterology fellowships include instruction and training in the following:

  • Caring for patients in different settings (e.g., doctor’s office, hospital)
  • Evaluating and treating patients with GI symptoms and conditions
  • Performing diagnostic procedures (e.g., endoscopic procedures, such as colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy)
  • Providing recommendations to help prevent disease and maintain good health

During this fellowship, physicians learn how to perform complicated procedures, such as polyp removal (called polypectomy), stretching (dilation) of the esophagus and intestines, and various techniques to stop bleeding in the GI tract. They also learn how to administer sedation required for these procedures and how to interpret results.


Dr. Bhooshan Pandit - Gastroenterologist | Currae Hospital

Dr. Bhooshan Pandit

Consultant - Gastroenterology

Dr. Bhooshan Pandit is a Gastroenterologist at Currae hospital in Thane and has an experience of 15 years in this field. He completed MBBS from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Sion,Mumbai in 1996, MD - Medicine from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Sion,Mumbai in 1999 and DM - Gastroenterology from Topiwala National Medical College & BYL Nair Charitable Hospital in...

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Dr. Sachin Wani

Consultant - Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

He completed his MBBS from Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, MS from Govt. Medical College. He has done his DNB in GI Hepatobiliary surgery from National Board of Examination. He has underwent a training in Laparoscopic GI Once surgery at Tata Memorial Hospital in 2009. He has also done his training in Laparoscopic Hepatobiliary surgery & Laparoscopic Liver resection at NHS...

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Dr. Suryaprakash Bhandari

Consultant - Gastroenterologist

Dr. Suryaprakash Bhandari has done his Masters in General Surgery (MS) from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai in 2002. He was awarded gold medal by the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) of Mumbai for his best academic performance in General Surgery in 2002. He has also cleared his DNB General Surgery examination...

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Gastroenterologist Certification

Following completion of this training, gastroenterologists are highly-trained specialists with a comprehensive understanding of the digestive system. These physicians are considered “Board Eligible” and can then take the gastroenterology certification exam, which is administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Physicians who successfully complete this examination are Board Certified in Gastroenterology. Gastroenterologists also can be certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Physicians who meet the difficult requirements of the American College of Physicians or the American College of Gastroenterology may receive special recognition from these organizations. These physicians (known as “Fellows”) can include the initials FACP (Fellow of the American College of Physicians) or FACG (Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology) after their names. Gastroenterologists are experts in the care of patients who have disorders of the digestive system or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They are highly-trained specialists who can provide comprehensive medical care to these patients.

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1. Why Would you need to see a gastroenterologist?

Some of the most common diseases and disorders are diagnosed by a gastroenterologist. And if you have signs of acidity, reflux, abdominal pain, gallstones, appendicitis, loss of appetite, weight loss or fatty liver, you may need to visit a gastroenterologist.

2. What tests a gastroenterologist do?

Gastroenterology constitutes the diagnosis and treatment of digestive system disorders affecting the oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. And depending on the symptoms, you may be asked to do liver function tests, hemogram, ultrasound abdomen, gastroscopy and colonoscopy.

3. What tests a gastroenterologist do on the first visit?

On your first visit, he takes your clinical history, examines you clinically and evaluates your symptoms. And as part of the first diagnosis, your gastroenterologist may request additional tests or procedures, such as blood tests, imaging studies, or endoscopic examinations for diagnosis or treatment.

4. What does gastroenterologist mean?

One who heals your gut. He is a medical practitioner qualified to diagnose and treat disorders of the stomach and intestines.


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