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.
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 Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Gastroenterology can be found on the MRCP(UK) website.
Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.