The medical specialty of gastroenterology has been expanding rapidly from the early 1970s with the development of endoscopy. Training after MRCP or it's equivalent takes 5 years one of which may be pure research while the remaining four years are usually combined with general medicine. At least one year in a busier hospital with different constraints from those in teaching hospitals is expected and six months at least of specialised liver disease training is also required.
The trained gastroenterologist will be able to develop and run endoscopy services for diagnostic, therapeutic and screening endoscopy. All trained gastroenterologists will be competent at upper and lower GI endoscopy and some will have had additional training in hepato-biliary endoscopy. Most will be expected to participate in the acute medical receiving units of all cases including GI disease and to be expert in the management of the broad range of gastrointestinal disease either in out-patients or following admission. Consultation and communication skills are important in addition to organisational and managerial training.
The training curriculum and all training units and rotations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are overseen by the Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) answerable to the JRCPTB. This group embraces all the goals and targets set by the separate joint advisory group on gastrointestinal endoscopy (JAG) and both the Chairman and Secretary of the SAC sit on JAG. Representation on the SAC is nominated by the British Society of Gastroenterology, The Combined Royal Colleges of Physicians, The British Association for the Study of Liver diseases (BASL) and an observer from Ireland.