There are approximately 12,000 active gastroenterologists in the United States. After medical school, each must complete a 3 year residency in internal medicine followed by a 2 to 4 year fellowship in gastroenterology. According to a recent report prepared by the American Medical Group Association, the median salary for the specialty is just over $389,000.00 per year.
Gastroenterologists are called upon by patients to perform colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, CT colonographies, and endoscopies, and to treat a variety of diseases. Where a GI doctor fails to order the appropriate test (such as a colonoscopy for a patient over age 50), or treat a digestive disorder appropriately, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice. Common diseases treated by gastroenterologists include:
- colorectal cancer;
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS);
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD);
- ulcerative colitis;
- celiac disease;
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
- peptic ulcers;
- food allergies; and
- gallbladder disease.
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