One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a medical professional is deciding which specialty to pursue. While there are pros and cons in every field, considering medical specialties that are in high demand may help you narrow down your choice. For example, a medical niche like gastroenterology is one of the fastest-growing, in-demand specialties heading into the future. As a gastroenterologist in CT, you’ll experience a number of benefits, including an in-demand workforce, competitive salary, and job satisfaction.
But what exactly does a gastroenterologist do, and what are the reasons for becoming a gastroenterologist? Let’s discuss them below.
What is gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is a medical specialty studying diseases of the entire gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterologists help patients manage the health of multiple body systems, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, and pancreas.
Gastroenterology is unique in that these specialists can provide comprehensive, thorough care for patients with a variety of ailments. Rather than seeing multiple medical personnel for procedures, diagnosis, and treatment, patients may have a more seamless, connected experience when working with a gastroenterologist to determine the cause of a digestive concern.
From initial diagnostic endoscopy all the way through treatment and management, gastroenterologists are present at every step of the way for patients. This is due in large part to the multifaceted training gastroenterologists receive in preparation for their careers. Gastroenterology education allows specialists in this field to not only perform endoscopic research but also interpret results and use them as direction for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Considerations for Becoming a Gastroenterologist in CT
What does it take to become a gastroenterologist? Let’s look at what’s involved in becoming a gastroenterologist.
Life as a gastroenterologist starts with four years of medical school. Following medical school education, most aspiring gastroenterologists move on to three years of internal medicine residency and then three years of a gastroenterology fellowship.
In addition to three years of fellowship, some individuals may also pursue an additional one to two years of fellowship experience if they wish to niche down even further into a subspecialty. Subspecialties of gastroenterology include pediatric gastroenterology, general surgery, advanced endoscopy, and more.
Of all internal medicine fellowships, gastroenterology is one of the most competitive fellowships to break into. Research is a key component in any gastroenterology fellowship, highlighting the rapidly evolving nature of the field.
Your experience as a gastroenterologist may depend on which subspecialty you pursue. With standard gastroenterology, however, the outlook on work-life is generally positive. Your career will be largely procedural-based, with occasional GI emergency cases along the way.
Gastroenterology is ranked as one of the highest-paying specialties in medicine. The average gastroenterologist salary in the United States was $399,241 as of July 2022 but ranged between $337,027 and $471,426.
As a gastroenterologist, you may work in a hospital, clinic, or private office. Those interested in the field should be comfortable with the fast-paced, rapidly evolving nature of gastroenterology. Working hours are typically long, and most gastroenterologists must be accessible to answer medical questions or provide emergency care.
Because gastroenterology allows specialists to provide comprehensive, beginning-to-end care for patients, you can expect a lot of patient interaction. If you prefer a more behind-the-scenes specialty with less patient face time, gastroenterology might not be the right choice for you. If you enjoy forming connections with patients, however, gastroenterology will certainly allow you to do so.
Reasons to Become a Gastroenterologist in CT
Now that you have an overall idea of what it takes to become a gastroenterologist, let’s go over the reasons to become one:
- Patient connection. If you enjoy interacting with patients and developing close connections, gastroenterology might be for you.
- High salary. If salary is important to you, gastroenterology is consistently near the top of the highest-paying medical specialties.
- Versatile skill set. Gastroenterologists are highly involved in research, technical skills, and even endoscopic procedures. Having a gastroenterology career means gaining a versatile skill set during your education and time practicing.
- High demand. Hospitals, clinics, and practices across the nation are looking for well-trained gastroenterologists as others retire. Now is a great time to enter the field.
- Fellowship flexibility. You’ll gain exposure to a number of medical scenarios during gastroenterology fellowships and even have the opportunity to sub-specialize if you wish..
What is the outlook for the gastroenterology field in Connecticut?
Across the nation, there is a widespread shortage of gastroenterologists. An aging physician population and specialists leaving practice are two main drivers of the shortage. And with diseases like colon cancer on the rise, the United States is in need of specialists in the gastroenterology field to treat increasing patient diagnoses.
If you’re considering becoming a gastroenterologist in CT, the outlook is brighter than ever before. You’d be joining a fast-growing, in-demand specialty with a high average salary and job satisfaction.
Becoming a Gastroenterologist in CT
The Physicians Alliance of Connecticut (PACT) is a multi-specialty medical group led and operated by more than 50 physician members. We are committed to healthcare excellence, innovation, safety and quality in private-practice patient care in the New Haven area of Connecticut.
Our PACT Gastroenterology Center was founded to create an innovative and progressive medical practice devoted to providing sophisticated, state-of-the-art medical care in a warm and caring environment. Our mission is always to help people rather than simply treat diseases.
If you’re a current or future healthcare provider and want to share in the PACT vision of delivering patient-centered and innovative healthcare, apply to one of our open jobs today.