Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine focused on the digestive system and its disorders. Diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which include the organs from mouth into anus, along the alimentary canal, are the focus of this specialty. Physicians practicing in this field are called gastroenterologists. They have usually completed about eight years of pre-medical and medical education, a year-long internship (if this is not a part of the residency), three years of an internal medicine residency, and three years in the gastroenterology fellowship. Gastroenterologists perform a number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatiography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), and liver biopsy. Some gastroenterology trainees will complete a “fourth-year” (although this is often their seventh year of graduate medical education) in transplant hepatology, advanced interventional endoscopy, and inflammatory endoscopy.
Advanced endoscopy, sometimes called interventional or surgical endoscopy, is a sub-specialty of gastroenterology that focuses on advanced endoscopic techniques for the treatment of pancreatic, hepatobiliary, and gastrointestinal disease. Interventional gastroenterologists typically undergo an additional year of rigorous training in advanced endoscopic techniques including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound-guided diagnostic and interventional procedures, and advanced resection techniques including endoscopic mucosal resection and endoscopic submucosal dissection.