A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas or blood in your stool, it may be time to see a gastroenterologist. Here are 5 tips on how to choose a gastroenterologist:
#1 Search on Google
There was a time when you had to ask people around you for recommendations on gastroenterologists. However, nowadays, you can simply search for GI doctors in your area using internet search engines, like Google. There is a wealth of information available online that should make it easier for you to make a list of potential GI doctors to consider.
#2 Consider the GI Doctor’s Experience and Training
When choosing a gastroenterologist, look for someone who has completed an accredited fellowship program and is board-certified by the American Board of Gastroenterology. These credentials ensure that the doctor has undergone extensive training in GI disorders and procedures.
Additionally, check if the doctor is up-to-date on the latest developments in the field by looking for membership in professional organizations such as The American College of Gastroenterology. Experience matters, too – aim for someone who has been practicing medicine for many years.
#3 Find Out What Services Are Available at Their Practice
Many GI practices offer convenient locations with state-of-the-art equipment, so patients can receive all their care under one roof without having to travel far from home. Examples of highly advanced GI procedures are colonoscopies and endoscopies.
A colonoscopy is a life-saving screening procedure against colon cancer, and it is recommended for people starting at the age of 45 who are of average risk. An endoscopy is used to examine the upper GI tract and is used to diagnose many GI conditions, such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus, inflammation, swelling, and cancer.
#4 Check If They Frequently Treat Your Condition or Symptoms
While all certified gastroenterologists are trained to treat common GI issues such as heartburn, acid reflux disease, diarrhea, or ulcers, not every doctor will be experienced in treating multiple complex problems, like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and liver disease. If you need specialized care, make sure to find somebody whose practice has a wealth of experience treating patients with similar conditions.
#5 Check for Bedside Manner
Don’t forget that bedside manner counts. You want to feel comfortable with the GI provider you choose. Schedule an initial consultation with each of your potential GI doctors before making your final decision. Assess the way they speak with you and address your concerns. Select the doctor who makes you feel the most respected, heard, and comfortable.
Top Gastroenterologists in Austin, TX
Austin Gastroenterology is the largest physician-led GI practice in Central Texas, recognized throughout Texas. Our physicians are board-certified and are highly trained in the use of highly advanced procedures. In fact, we have endoscopy centers and many other locations for your convenience. Our doctors are not just knowledgeable but also compassionate and treat each patient with respect.