Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine related to the digestive system and its disorders.
Diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which include the organs from mouth to anus, along with the alimentary canal, are the focus of this specialty. Physicians practicing in this field of medicine are called gastroenterologists. They have usually completed the eight years of pre-medical and medical education, a yearlong internship (if this is not a part of the residency), three years of an internal medicine residency, and two to three years in the gastroenterology fellowship. Specialists in GI radiology, hepatobiliary or gastric medicine or in GI oncology will then complete a two- or three- year fellowship. Gastroenterology is not the same as gastroenterological surgery or of colon and rectal (proctology) surgery, which are specialty branches of general surgery. Important advances have been made in the last fifty years, contributing to rapid expansion of its scope.
Hematology, or hepatobiliary medicine, encompasses the study of the liver, pancreas, and biliary tree and is traditionally considered a sub-specialty.