How to Become a Gastroenterologist?


Gastroenterology is a specific sub-field of medical sciences which deals with gastrointestinal tract, the digestive systems as well as the relevant diseases and disorders. From treating bowel irritability to Hepatitis C, a gastroenterologist helps treat a range of diseases and are involved in operational procedures and surgeries. Furthermore, with the inclusion of health technologies, specialised instruments and advanced endoscopic procedures, gastroenterology has grown from being just a pill-with-water science. Read on to know more about the courses you can pursue to become a gastroenterologist along with the universities that offer relevant degree programs.

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What is Gastroenterology?

As a gastroenterologist, you are expected to have an advanced understanding of the gastrointestinal system, nutrient absorption, waste and excretion process as well as other vital parts including but not limited to pancreas, pharynx, salivary glands, rectum, gallbladder, tongue and epiglottis. Furthermore, owing to the diversification of diseases to rare and complex ones such as Crohn’s Disease, Chronic Liver Disease, Appendicitis, Hernia, Cholecystitis, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Transplantation, amongst others. Specific responsibilities of a gastroenterologist include:

  • Perform endoscopic ultrasound of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Conduct colonoscopies in order to detect life-threatening diseases like colon polyps and colon cancer.
  • Conduct biopsies of the liver for disorders like inflammation, fibrosis, etc.
  • Perform highly complex procedures like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography for identification of tumours, gallstones, scar tissues, etc.
  • For small intestines, execute double-balloon enteroscopy.

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How to Become a Gastroenterologist: Degree Programs

Pursuing courses in gastroenterology is the first step towards starting a vibrant career in a range of occupations and industries. Starting from bachelor’s level to a Doctor of Medicine and beyond, gastroenterology degree programs are offered at several levels. Further, one can also pursue an MBBS with specialization in Gastroenterology. Graduates with a significant amount of medicinal practice and experience can also choose to supplement their knowledge with an MBA Healthcare Management or advanced clinical research courses. In addition to that, individuals with qualifications in medical science courses can switch towards gastroenterology by means of such degrees. Practical experiences, simulations, assistantships, etc are an integral of maintaining a practical outlook.

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How to Become a Gastroenterologist: Universities to Consider

With the growing awareness towards a healthy lifestyle as well as complications arising in digestive medicine, universities are steadily offering highly intensive courses including MPhil and PhD courses along with Diploma and online qualifications. Students are advised that the duration of the program, gastroenterologist practice conditions and eligibility criteria differ according to the chosen university and study abroad destination. For the purpose of ease, the following table lists down some of the top institutions recognised for their prospective courses in Gastroenterology.

Name of UniversityCountryTHE World
University of
UK=51stMPhil Gastroenterology
PhD Gastroenterology
The Chinese
of Hong Kong
Hong Kong=56thMSc Gastroenterology
Queen Mary University
of London
UK110thMSc Gastroenterology
MSc Gastroenterology [Distance]
PG Diploma Gastroenterology
PG Diploma Gastroenterology
University of
UK=158thDM Gastrointestinal Surgery
MPhil Gastrointestinal Surgery
MRes Gastrointestinal Surgery
MSc Gastrointestinal Surgery
University of LiverpoolUK163thMD Gastroenterology
MPhil Gastroenterology
PhD Gastroenterology
The University of HullUK501-600thBSc Gastroenterology Care
MSc Gastroenterology Care
University of SalfordUK801-1000thPG Certificate Gastrointestinal

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Few Words on Admission

The procedure of applying to the above-mentioned institutions for Gastroenterology courses may require students to submit GRE and IELTS/TOEFL scores, Research Proposal, Statement of Purpose (SOP), Letters of Recommendation (LOR), official transcripts and CV, amongst other materials. Applicants with a few years of experience in industry or research capacities are generally preferred. Moreover, international applicants must start their application as early as possible since sending of scores and arranging recommendations take time.

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The job of a gastroenterologist is challenging and demanding as well as holds high charm and admiration. If you aspire to become one, pursuing the above-courses can gear you up for a rewarding career. Take assistance of the AI-enabled tool at Leverage Edu which narrows down course and institute picks based on your personalised interests and inclinations and assists you in making an informed and wise decision.

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