Choosing a Gastroenterologist
Things to consider when seeking a gastroenterologist
1. If you are insured your insurer may require that you seek a referral from your GP
2. Research the person you are going to see, make sure they are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), that they hold a medical license to practice within their field and do not have any restrictions or limitations in their practice (a easure the GMC sometimes takes)
3.When it comes to specialized medical or surgical care for complex GI problems, the more experience a doctor has, the better your results are likely to be. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the gastroenterologist has treated. If you know you need an unusual procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.
4.Consider the hospital, how big is it, what facilities does it have, is the location convenient for you.
5. Explore the communication style of the doctor you want to see. Do you want to see someone who encourages you to ask questions and who is open and candid or do you prefer (no I don't!) a more paternalistic style. I would encourage you to find a gastroenetrologist who has respect for your decisions.
6.If you have insurance , then find out what it will and won't cover.
7. Consider Gender - is it important to you to see a doctor of a specfic gender.
In choosing to see me
1. In my NHS work I treat a broad range of gastroenterological disease including liver, pancreatic and luminal gastroenterology.
2. I have particular interests in the psycho-social aspects of gastrointestinal disease and;
a) Functional Gastroenterological Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Functional dyspepsia
- Non cardiac chest pain
b) Oesophageal disease and its treatment including;
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux and its complications
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux
c) Pancreatic Insufficiency
I am comfortable with and have good outcomes data fora wide range of endoscopic interventions including diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy and colonoscopy.
I do not undertake ERCP for this reason patients with jaundice or cirrhotic liver disease would be better placed seeing one of my colleagues.
It is important to me that you see the right person, first time.