Blogs > NHS Recruitment Process / Introduction to the NHS

Gastroenterology within the NHS

  • September 02, 2020

General Medicine is the largest field of medicine in terms of the number of different pathways and individual specialisms.  This Blog Article aims to provide specific insight into Gastroenterology and what to expect when working as a Gastroenterologist within the NHS.

As an international recruitment company, BDI Resourcing recommend that aspiring Gastroenterologists, wanting to work in the NHS, take the MRCP route to their GMC Registration.

What should I expect?

Gastroenterologists within the NHS are expected to develop and run endoscopy services for diagnostic, therapeutic and screening endoscopy.  Commonly, Gastroenterologists will divide their time between running specialist gastrointestinal and liver clinics, carrying out endoscopies, attending multidisciplinary meetings, conducting ward rounds, attending to administration and admitting new patients.

The number of patients seen in a day varies. In outpatients, you could see up to eight new patients or 12 follow ups per four hour clinic or a mixture of new and follow up patients. A specialist doing two endoscopy lists in a day could see about 12 to 24 patients; but some cases are more complex and involve longer procedures such as the removal of polyps or gall stones.

Gastroenterologists within the NHS will participate in on call rotas. Being on-call can be demanding as you are likely to be called in for procedures such as emergency endoscopy. Most gastroenterologists are also part of the acute general medical on-call, which means they manage acute gastro and non-gastro admissions.

Additionally, it is important to note that when working as a Gastroenterologist you should expect to work alongside a variety of other NHS staff including specialist nurses, surgeons, diagnostic and interventional radiologists, pathologists, oncologists, clinical research teams and A&E Doctors.

Of course, whilst it is impossible to predict the daily procedures and interventions you may be carrying out on a day to day basis within the NHS, you will commonly be carrying out:

  • diagnostic and therapeutic upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • small bowel endoscopy
  • endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – an endoscopic technique mainly used to diagnose and treat bile duct and pancreatic duct conditions
  • endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • intestinal and liver biopsy
  • paracentesis (puncture of the wall of a cavity using a hollow needle)
  • insertion of parenteral nutrition line (intravenous feeding lines)
  • planning and aftercare of patients undergoing liver transplant

Can I sub specialize?

Whilst there are a number of different specialty interests associated with Gastroenterology, it is important to note that Hepatology is the only GMC approved subspecialty of Gastroenterology. This means that when (and if) applying for specialist registration, Hepatology is the single choice for a listed sub specialty. In order to receive this sub-specialty certificate in hepatology, a Doctor must spend a total of two years training in liver disease having previously enrolled in the gastroenterology training programme.

As previously mentioned, whilst Hepatology is the only approved sub specialty certification, Doctors may have a specific sub specialty interest. These may include but are not limited to:

  • hepatology (diseases of the liver)
  • pancreaticobiliary diseases of the pancreas and biliary system),
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • functional bowel disease
  • tropical diseases
  • gastrointestinal cancer and its prevention
  • endoscopic surveillance
  • upper GI disease (diseases of the oespahagus and stomach)
  • small bowel disease
  • pancreatic disease
  • transplantation
  • medico legal issues in medicine
  • clinical pharmacology
  • inherited cancer syndromes
  • clinical nutrition

Relocating to the UK

If you are an international Gastroenterologist with MRCP who would like to relocate to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we have just launched our new Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing


Health Careers. 2020. Working Life (Gastroenterology). [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 26 August 2020]. 2020. Hepatology Curriculum. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 26 August 2020].

Health Careers. 2020. Gastroenterology. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 26 August 2020].


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