Treat illnesses linked to the digestive system.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $180,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Gastroenterologists do?

A Gastroenterologist is a Doctor who specializes in treating the digestive system. Unraveled, unwound, and untangled, the typical human digestive tract is approximately 30 feet long from end to end, which means the Gastroenterologist has a lot of ground to cover.

As a Gastroenterologist, you work in hospitals, clinics, and group practices, and you’re an expert on the parts and processes that the body uses to digest food, absorb nutrients, and evacuate waste. Based on that expertise, your job is diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, and intestines, not to mention all the other parts that help digest food in between. Among the illnesses you treat, for example, are colon cancer, hepatitis, heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, pancreatic cancer, colitis, gallbladder disease, and peptic ulcer disease, just to name a few.

Whether it’s a minor discomfort like indigestion or a life-threatening illness like cancer, you’re tasked with examining patients and determining the cause of their digestive problems, then administering appropriate treatments to either alleviate their symptoms or cure their disease. While the examination portion of your job often involves procedures such as colonoscopies and endoscopies, the treatment portion may involve prescribing medications or performing surgeries.

Regardless, symptoms and treatments alike can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, requiring you to be more sensitive than most Physicians, yet just as aggressive. Think of yourself like human Pepto-Bismol healing super-sized stomachaches.

Should I be a Gastroenterologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Gastroenterology Physician

    How to become a Gastroenterologist

    Most Gastroenterologists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:agaaa9&chl=|certificate+%289%25%29||||doctorate+%2891%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,91
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