Gastroenterology involves the management of patients with gastrointestinal and hepatological conditions. A gastroenterologist also develops and runs endoscopy services.
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Entry Route into Gastroenterology
Applicants must have completed the Foundation Programme before they are can apply for core training on one of two pathways:
Trainees complete four to six medical placements and must take part in acute on-call work. In order to apply for higher speciality training at ST3 trainees should have the full membership of the Royal College of Physicians.
Job Progression as a Gastroenterologist
Higher speciality training takes at least four years, and should include six months of specialised training in the management of patients with liver diseases. It is possible to gain a dual-CCT in Acute Internal Medicine or General Internal Medicine, adding a year to the total training time (ST3-7). The Gastroenterology CCT subspeciality is hepatology, however, there are further opportunities to develop a subspeciality interest in topics such as pancreatic disease, functional bowel disease, inherited cancer syndromes, or reflux oesophagitis.
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic Gastroenterology Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for Gastroenterology Posts
In 2017, the competition ratio at ST3 was 2.6 in the first round, with 211 applications for 77 NTN posts and 4 LAT posts, with 53% of applicants applying for Gastroenterology only. In the second round, the competition ratio was 3.7, with 67 applications for 18 NTN posts.
In December 2017, there were
- 1,201 consultants,
- 22 associate specialists,
- 55 speciality doctors,
- 2 staff grades,
- 593 speciality registrars,
- 311 core trainees,
- 95 F2 trainees, and
- 253 F1 trainees.
Salaries in Gastroenterology
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, and from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors. Consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments and situations. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of a Gastroenterologist
Clinical work involves admitting new patients, ward rounds, performing endoscopies, and running outpatient clinics, with on-call work involving emergency endoscopies. Most gastroenterologists are also part of the acute general medical on-call rota, managing patients with both gastroenterological, and non-gastroenterological conditions. All specialists are trained in upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, but some will have additional training in hepatobiliary endoscopy.