'I can't imagine any other medical specialty': Why 3 gastroenterologists would choose the same path again

Practicing gastroenterology offers a healthy mix of patient care and research, making it an alluring option for many. 

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Question: If you had it to do over, would you choose gastroenterology as a specialty again? If not, what other specialty would you consider? 

Harry Aslanian, MD. Gastroenterologist at Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, Conn.): Almost all the gastroenterologists I know, myself included, continue to enjoy gastroenterology, — in particular endoscopy — and would do it all over again. Endoscopy provides the satisfaction of a visual and manual challenge that provides opportunities to expand your knowledge and performance, incorporate new procedures and technology, while enjoying a high-definition view of the human body and an opportunity to perfect routine procedures.  

I can’t imagine any other medical specialty. I was first drawn to gastroenterology in medical school when I encountered many gastroenterologists who enjoyed their work. Rather than a different specialty, many of us contemplate a fantasy non-medical career; musician and park ranger are my perennial favorites.  

Dilip Moonka, MD. Gastroenterologist at Henry Ford Health (Detroit): Yes, it is a nice combination of thinking about patients, but also doing procedures. 

Andrew Wang, MD. Gastroenterologist at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville): I would definitely choose gastroenterology as a specialty again. Gastroenterology is rewarding and challenging because it requires expertise in both cognitive and procedure-based medicine.

There is currently great demand for gastroenterologists, in academics and in practice. As an academic gastroenterologist and interventional endoscopist, I am able to help patients by offering direct clinical and endoscopic care through conducting clinical research and educating trainees, practicing gastroenterologists and advanced-practice providers. I am very happy I chose to pursue a career in gastroenterology.

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