Gastroenterology is not something we normally think of until we begin suffering symptoms of some sort of intestinal or digestive tract disorder. When such illnesses do occur, it is the gastroenterologist who specializes in treating them. The gastroenterologist is a medical doctor who has completed at least eight years of education, though more often than not a seasoned professional has completed 10 years or more in total.
Despite the large commitment of time and financial resources needed to become a gastroenterologist, doctors in the field find it very rewarding. Furthermore, there are several different types of gastroenterology jobs available within the medical community. A medical school student can choose to be a practicing doctor, a researcher, or an educator. In the field of nursing students can even pursue a registered nurse education with a focus on gastroenterology in order to become a physician assistant.
The following are the three most common types of gastroenterology jobs available today:
The gastroenterologist is a medical doctor who specializes in disorders of the stomach, intestines, and associated tissues and organs. Some of the more common things this doctor will deal with include irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and persistent ulcers. The gastroenterologist will also deal with more serious conditions like stomach cancer, perforated bowels, and celiac disease.
Within this career choice there are subsets such as pediatric gastroenterology. These subsets require even more specialization, thus necessitating further education beyond the 8 to 10 years needed just to get started. Gastroenterologists often set up private practices in and around major cities, though they also work in hospitals, research labs, universities, and clinics.
Like most medical specialties, gastroenterology employees experienced doctors as professors in medical school. As far as gastroenterology jobs go, teaching positions are coveted for a number of reasons. The gastroenterology professor has the opportunity not only to train others to work in the field, but also to stay on the cutting edge of new treatments and methodologies. Oftentimes professors will work side-by-side with medical researchers to help develop the field further.
Physician Assistant in Gastroenterology:
For gastroenterology jobs among nurses, the most common choice is to become a physician assistant. This makes complete sense when you consider the fact that in order to work in gastroenterology you must pursue significant education beyond just a four-year nursing degree. Once a nurse makes that commitment he or she might just as well take the extra courses necessary to become a physician assistant.
The physician assistant is typically one step below the medical doctor in most states. This professional is able to make common diagnoses, order tests, prescribe medications, and come up with treatment plans for the most common disorders. The physician assistant always works as part of a team supervised by a medical doctor. It's a great option for those who don't want to commit to the education necessary to be a gastroenterologist, but still want to go further than the registered nurse.
Search for Great Gastroenterology Jobs and Healthcare Employment Opportunities at Weatherby Healthcare.