Working life (gastroenterology)

This page provides useful information about the roles and responsibilities of gastroenterologists, where they work, who they work with and what they feel about their role

“I enjoy doing practical things and this specialty offered me the chance to carry out procedures such as endoscopies. I also like talking to patients, and the work allows for this also. There is a fairly broad range of conditions, which give me variety.”  - a gastroenterologist

How your time is spent

Every day is different but most will divide their time between running specialist gastrointestinal and liver clinics, carrying out endoscopies, attending multidisciplinary meetings, conducting ward rounds, attending to administration and admitting new patients (‘the acute take’), .

The number of patients seen in a day varies. In outpatients, you could see up to eight new patients or 12 follow ups per four hour clinic or a mixture of new and follow up patients. A specialist doing two endoscopy lists in a day could see about 12 to 24 patients; but some cases are more complex and involve longer procedures such as the removal of polyps or gall stones.

Clinical meetings are also part of the working week.

On call and working hours

Most gastroenterologists participate in on call rotas.  Fewer than 60% of consultants are routinely on call at weekends.

Being on-call can be demanding as you are likely to be called in for procedures such as emergency endoscopy. Most gastroenterologists are also part of the acute general medical on-call, which means they manage acute gastro and non-gastro admissions.

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