What is Involved in Endoscopy Training?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

In endoscopy training, medical providers learn how to determine when an endoscopy is necessary, how to perform the procedure safely, and how to interpret results. The training can take the form of a fellowship or workshop for gastroenterologists and other care providers who may have cause to order an endoscopy, like oncologists who treat patients with esophageal, stomach, or colon cancer. The training program will have a precise syllabus instructors follow, and students receive information about what to expect at the start.

Doctors use an endoscope to conduct internal examinations.
Doctors use an endoscope to conduct internal examinations.

People must be qualified physicians for endoscopy training. The coursework usually includes a classroom element where doctors learn about the history and practice of endoscopy. In class, the instructor provides information about how endoscopy works, when to use this procedure, and how to communicate with patients prior to endoscopies. Students may have tests to confirm that they understand the topics covered in class.

Individuals will learn how to perform an endoscopy procedure safely during endoscopy training.
Individuals will learn how to perform an endoscopy procedure safely during endoscopy training.

An endoscopy training may provide access to a computer simulation. This allows people to get used to endoscopies without putting patients at risk. Other programs start doctors with observing procedures, gradually giving them an opportunity to participate, and eventually allowing them to perform procedures themselves. The goal of the training is to make sure that all participants can safely and accurately complete an endoscopy procedure.

Students undergoing endoscopy training will learn about abnormalities commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract.
Students undergoing endoscopy training will learn about abnormalities commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Training also includes coursework that familiarizes students with the different kinds of conditions they may encounter and how they will present. Students learn to interpret findings like patches of discoloration, polyps, and other abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract. They will also learn how to take samples for biopsy and prepare them for examination by a pathologist. Teaching hospitals rely on files from existing patients to provide doctors with a wide array of examples of endoscopies, so they can learn about normal anatomical variations and get a chance to see unusual conditions that they might not ordinarily encounter in practice.

Endoscopy training provides students with the tools to determine when to order this medical test and how to talk with patients about the endoscopy. Doctors need to be able to reassure patients who may have fears about the test. They also learn basic protocols for patient safety and comfort. In endoscopy training, doctors will receive instruction in using sedation and pain management and working with an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist to keep patients comfortable throughout the procedure. They will also learn about how to maintain clean conditions, working with other members of the endoscopy team to protect patients from infection.

An endoscopy may be performed to examine the colon for polyps.
An endoscopy may be performed to examine the colon for polyps.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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