What Does a Gastroenterologist Do?

Medically Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo, MD on April 17, 2021

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the digestive tract and the gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, and pancreas.

Gastroenterologists are doctors who are trained to diagnose and treat problems in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and liver. These doctors also do routine procedures such as colonoscopies, which look at the inside of your colon. They get 5-6 years of specialized education after medical school.

When to See a Gastroenterologist

You might go to a gastroenterologist for health concerns with your:

Your primary care doctor may also refer you to a gastroenterologist if you have problems with:

These could be minor health concerns or signs of a serious condition. Gastroenterologists have the tools and expertise to diagnose you correctly. A few of the diseases and conditions they manage include:

You would also see a gastroenterologist to get a screening colonoscopy or other tests that look inside any part of your gastrointestinal tract.

Show Sources


American College of Gastroenterology: “What is a Gastroenterologist?”

Sun, W. Cancer Letters, Feb. 1, 2015.

Hryszczykowa, L. Wiadomosci Lekarski, Sept. 15, 1988.

UNC School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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