If you experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, or nausea, your primary care physician (PCP) will likely refer you to a gastroenterologist for diagnosis of your specific digestive disorder. Also known as a GI doctor, a gastroenterologist is a specialist who treats a broad spectrum of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, consisting of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, and rectum.
While your PCP may steer you in the right direction, making a well-informed decision on which GI doctor to consult should be based on your own research. This is important because it can ultimately affect the outcome of your treatment.
Choosing a Good GI Doctor
In searching for the right gastroenterologist, here are the key factors you should focus on:
- The Doctor’s Professional Background and Credentials – One of your top criteriain selecting a gastroenterologist is board certification. It indicates that the doctor is specially trained and has the skills and experience to provide reliable digestive care.You can verify your prospective GI doctor’s board certification status on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Directory of Board-Certified Medical Specialists’ website at https://www.abmssolutions.com/abms-certification-data/. While you’re at it, also find out about the doctor’s training and any disciplinary or malpractice history.
- The Doctor’s Reputation – Check the doctor’s patient reviews on websites such as Healthgrades, Zocdoc, and Vitals, as well as their Google My Business page and Facebook business pages. Those who provide superior care will generate many positive reviews.
- The Doctor’s Knowledge of the Latest Developments in Their Field –To provide the most effective care, a superior GI doctor needs to be aware of and adapt to new medical technology and techniques. Look for a provider who is not only knowledgeable in their areas of expertise, but also stays abreast of the latest breakthroughs and methods in gastroenterology.
- The Doctor’s Bedside Manner –A GI doctor’s professional and reassuring style when interacting with patients is important in that it helps to put them at ease about their condition and the steps necessary to resolve a digestive problem. When consulting a gastroenterologist for the first time, take note of their body language, their tone of voice, their manner of explaining things, and their ability to provide you with compassionate care,as these subtle but significant details can make all the difference between a good and bad patient experience.
By taking the time and effort to find an exceptionally qualified gastroenterologist, you can be confident that you will receive the best quality medical care.
Upstate Medical University Department of Medicine
The board-certified gastroenterologists at the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University are not only highly skilled but also dedicated to the prevention, evaluation, treatment, and management of patients with gastrointestinal disorders. We provide excellent medical care in a comfortable and convenient environment at our many locations.
At the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University, we offer a comprehensive range of gastrointestinal services that include:
- Outpatient gastrointestinal consultations
- Inpatient gastrointestinal consultations
- Irritable bowel disease (IBD) care and ongoing management
- Liver disease treatment
- Research study protocol participation
To schedule an appointment, please call your gastroenterology provider directly. Or to find out more about our gastroenterology services, you can email us at DeptMedicine@upstate.edu. Either way, we look forward to serving you.