The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) functions to digest and absorb nutrients for the production of energy and the removal of waste. Gastroenterology is the study of the GI tract and disorders within this system. Gastroenterology doctors manage disorders of the GI tract.
Classification of these disorders separates conditions into those that are infectious, inflammatory, congenital, or neoplastic. These disorders may be diagnosed and treated through endoscopic procedures, during which a thin tube with a camera is passed through the tract. While gastroenterology doctors are specialized in the management of these disorders, every physician should have an understanding of common gastrointestinal disorder presentation, work-up, and management.