A Gastroenterologist treats patients who have acute or chronic diseases within the digestive system. This includes issues in the stomach, colon, intestines, esophagus and other parts of the digestive track. These organs work with food and allow the body to use nutrients.

Should I Become a Gastroenterologist?

Education Required Medical Degree
Major Requirement Medicine
Training Required
Licenses/Certifications Required
Key Skills Dexterity, Problem Solving Skills, Patience, Communication Skills, Organization Skills and Leadership Skills.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) $203,450 (Physicians and Surgeons, All Other)
Job Outlook (2018-28) 7% (Physicians and Surgeons)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Gastroenterologist work with patients suffering from rare and common cases regarding the digestive track. These professionals work individually and as a part of a team. Their work hours are irregular and long, like all other doctors.

Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide the career outlook for Gastroenterologist; however, the broader category of Physicians and Surgeons is expected to witness a growth of 7% from 2018-2028. The growing and ageing population will play an important role in the growth of the profession. People will seek doctors’ services more often due to the rise of chronic illnesses.

Steps to Become a Gastroenterologist

  1. Obtain an Undergraduate Degree
  2. Students have to earn an undergraduate degree as a first step to becoming a Gastroenterologist. Even though there is no pre-medical major required, students should choose a discipline which helps them gain knowledge related to the field of health and medicine. They are also required to take mandatory courses like organic chemistry, mathematics and biology, etc.

  1. Give the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  2. Students have to take the MCAT to get enrolled in a medical college. It assesses students’ scientific knowledge, verbal reasoning and academic capacity.

  1. Obtain a Graduate Degree
  2. Medical school is a 4-year program. It is a combination of classroom learning and clinical practice. During these 4 years students study various topics like pharmacology, medical ethics, anatomy and physiology, etc. In the last two years, they gain hands-on-experience in multiple specialty areas.

  1. Obtain Licensure
  2. Students are required to pass the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). While other requirements may vary according to the state.

  1. Gain Residency Training
  2. Aspiring gastroenterologists have to get residency training in internal medicine. This program allows students to learn the working of internal body and prepares them for advanced training and practice. Residents rotate in different departments during the training.

  1. Serve a Fellowship
  2. Professionals serve a fellowship to gain expertise in their chosen area of specialty. For gastroenterologists, the program lasts for at least 18 months.

  1. Get Certified
  2. Although it is not compulsory, some gastroenterologists elect to get certified. They obtain a certificate in internal medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) before they can pursue a certificate in gastroenterology.

  1. Continue Learning
  2. Gastroenterologists have to continue the process of education to get their license renewed. They have to take advance courses for this.
    Professionals who join associations like the American Gastroenterological Association are provided access to multiple opportunities, like continuing education.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Gastroenterologist?

These professionals have to complete 8 years of education inclusive of 4 years of undergraduate and 4 years of graduate program. They need to complete their medical residency and a fellowship program as well.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Gastroenterologist

Following are the requirements to become a Gastroenterologist:

  • Gain an undergraduate degree
  • Give the MCAT and obtain a medical degree
  • Pass the USLME and gain licensure
  • Finish the medical residency and a fellowship program

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Gastroenterologist?

As per the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of the occupational category of Physicians and Surgeons was $203,450 in 2019.