What is a gastroenterologist?

You might think of a gastroenterologist as a "stomach doctor," but gastroenterology is far more involved than that. The gastrointestinal tract includes not only the digestive organs, but also the enzyme-producing organs that play a role in digestion. That gives gastroenterologists a long list of organs to treat, including the stomach, esophagus, colon, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and bile ducts.

Most gastroenterologists have gotten additional training in endoscopy, which involves using thin, flexible tubes fed into the body to perform various medical procedures. There are also pediatric gastroenterologists, who focus specifically on the digestive problems of children.