Gastroenterology (includes sub-specialty of Hepatology)

About the specialty: 

Gastroenterology training normally takes five years, one of which may be pure research while the remaining four years are usually combined with General Internal Medicine. At least one year in a busier hospital with different constraints from those in teaching hospitals is expected and six months at least of specialised liver disease training is also required.

The trained gastroenterologist will be able to develop and run endoscopy services for diagnostic, therapeutic and screening endoscopy. All trained gastroenterologists will be competent at upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy and some will have had additional training in hepatobiliary endoscopy. Most will be expected to participate in the acute medical receiving units of all cases including GI disease and to be expert in the management of the broad range of gastrointestinal disease either in out-patients or following admission. Consultation and communication skills are important in addition to organisational and managerial training.

Entry into Gastroenterology training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for Gastroenterology training:

  • Core Medical Training (CMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM)


Hepatology is a sub-specialty of Gastroenterology (also referred to as an advanced specialist area). Training in Hepatology is usually undertaken in the penultimate year of training in the Gastroenterology training programme. The trainee must spend a total of two years training in liver disease.

Trainees in Hepatology will gain experience in practical procedures which are commonly, although not exclusively, arranged for patients with advanced liver disease. They will gain experience in the management of unstable patients with liver disease needing care within a High Dependency Unit (HDU) or Intensive care unit (ICU). Indicators of the need for and management of liver transplant are also part of the Hepatology training programme.

Latest news and developments: 

A new curriculum for dual training in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine will be implemented in August 2022, subject to GMC approval. Trainees already in training in 2022 will need to transfer to the new curriculum unless in their final year of training. Further information including the curriculum and guidance will be published on this page in 2021.


The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.

Information on the European Specialty Examination in Gastroenterology and Hepatology (ESEGH) can be found on the MRCP(UK) website.

PDF icon 2010 Gastroenterology Curriculum (amendments 2013) V2.pdf

PDF icon 2010 Hepatology Curriculum (amendments 2013) V2.pdf

Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from

A new curriculum for Gastroenterology will be implemented in 2022, subject to GMC approval and is currently being consulted.


ARCP Decision Aids: 

The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. ARCP decision aids were revised to reflect the changes to the assessment and review process from August 2014 and replace all previous versions.

PDF icon 2010 Gastroenterology and Hepatology ARCP Decision Aid (revised 2014).pdf

Forms and guidance: 

2017 National Trainee Survey Report

The following reports are based on the results of the 2017 National Trainee Survey. For copies of older reports email

PDF icon 2017 NTS Gastroenterology Generic Indicators.pdf

PDF icon 2017 NTS Gastroenterology Specialty Specific Questions.pdf