Taster Membership

Dr Ian Forgacs - BSG President

I have been President of the BSG since June 2014 and I am immensely proud to lead an organisation that has nearly 4000 members, all of whom in one way or another have declared a commitment to gastroenterology - a specialty that has held a fascination for me since my first few months as a medical student.

I have always felt that it has been to my tremendous advantage that I decided to be a gastroenterologist as early as my second term in medical school. I know the curriculum has changed quite a bit since my day but we were taught physiology really well, and gut physiology in particular was taught in a manner that, shall I just say, I found so inspiring that to be a gastroenterologist was what I decided to be right there and then. Of course, that meant I could spend a lot of time in medical school on what I decided that I needed to know rather than what they tried to teach me. My knowledge of orthopaedics, ENT and indeed, most of non-GI surgery is rudimentary. However, I think my teachers thought that, because I knew so much about one specific area, I must in reality be very bright.

I hope that if I had my time again, I would make the same career choice. (I should add here that my quasi-Buddhist wife thinks that when I am reincarnated, I ought to consider myself fortunate to return as anything more sophisticated than a Helicobacter pylori). By comparison with the other major medical disciplines, gastroenterology is a young specialty and what has made it grow so fast in only one generation has been the development of endoscopy. Endoscopy has morphed from a mainly diagnostic procedure to one that is increasingly a technique for delivering treatment. There are some gastroenterologists who are so much interventional endoscopists that they are almost surgeons without a knife. They see endoscopy as the end rather than a means to an end. I have always been a clinical gastroenterologist first and endoscopist second. It's unimportant whether you are a hollow organ or solid organ sort of person (in other words are more interested in the gi tract or the liver) as you will have to be trained very broadly before you complete your specialist training.

However, technophilic you are, such skills will be of little use when you are trying to help patients through functional problems such as dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. It is quite impossible to look after patients with complex chronic problems such as inflammatory bowel disease without highly developed clinical skills and an empathic bedside manner. The major change in managing patients with gastrointestinal disease in the forty years since I qualified has been in the technology of diagnosis - yes through the endoscope but also because of the amazing developments in diagnostic radiology. It is highly likely that the application of basic laboratory methods and clinical medicine (translational research) will transform the practice of clinical gastroenterology, more so in the next thirty years than ever before. You guys are so lucky to be starting out at such a time.

Dr Duncan Loft - BSG Treasurer

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Professor John McLaughlin - Chair BSG Research Committee

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Dr Gavin Johnson - BSG Education Chair

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Julie Solomon - Head of Research & Learning

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Video: Choosing a career in Gastro?

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Please note: The membership payment year runs from 1st January through to 31st December each year, therefore at any part of the year you join you will pay £15.00 and will pay a further £15.00 the following January for a whole year.

Video: Benefits of Taster Membership

Meet Your Committee...

Name: Dr Liam Morris

Position: Chair

Representing: North West

Grade: ST6

Interests: Medical Education, Medical Leadership, Endoscopy

Ask Liam a Question:

Gastroenterology is a very diverse speciality with a wide range of possible career pathways available. This diversity is what first attracted me to the speciality and my career aspirations have changed a lot in my 3 years of training so far. It is a field of medicine which is always changing due to advances in research, ensuring that you will never stop learning.

Name: Dr Ellie Taylor

Position: Secretary

Representing: Yorkshire & Humber



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Name: Dr Louise China

Position: Former Chair

Representing: NE Thames

Grade: ST5 (OOPR)

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

I'm a Gastroenterology SpR currently undertaking a Hepatology research fellowship (3 years) and have just finished a year out as a clinical teaching fellow at UCL medical school. I chose Gastroenterology not only because of the variety, but also because of the people you get to work with - Gastroenterologists tend to be an intelligent, competitive and aspirational bunch who are good fun! The range of patients (age, condition & personality) and the practical side mean you'll never have a boring day at work. There's also many avenues other than clinical work you can explore within the specialty.

Ask Louise a Question:

Name: Dr Suranga Dharmasiri

Position: Treasurer

Representing: Wessex

Grade: ST5 (OOPR)

Interests: IBD, Clinical and basic science research

Ask Suranga a Question:

I am a gastroenterology trainee in the Wessex region. I was attracted to gastroenterology early in my career as it offered the opportunity to work in several different settings and work closely with other specialities. My training has confirmed that this was a great choice for me. The procedural elements and clinics ensure that you don't get ward fatigue, while caring for patients on the ward means you keep those emergency situation where the adrenalin gets pumping. I have a speciality interest in IBD and I am engaged in both clinical and basic science research in this area. I look forward to speaking to any future potential gastroenterologists.

Name: Dr Steve Dixon

Representing: Severn & South-West Peninsula

Grade: ST6 (OOPR)

Interests: All aspects of luminal gastroenterology, nutrition, endoscopy and gastrointestinal cancer

Ask Steve a Question:

I've been a gastroenterology trainee for five years and have developed an interest in all things gut-related. More recently I have become a clinical research fellow and am enjoying the challenges of gastrointestinal research. Always happy to take questions from people interested in this terrific discipline and the wonderful West of England.

Name: Dr Kesavan Kandiah

Representing: NW Thames

Grade: St7

Interests:Luminal gastroenterology with interest in advanced endoscopy

Ask Kesavan a Question:

I am a gastroenterology SpR in the NW Thames rotation, currently in OOPR in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. Finding a specialty that one would like to commit to for the rest of his/her life can be challenging. Gastroenterology was an easy choice for me. The case mix, the interdisciplinary team interaction and the technical skills required make this specialty a truly exciting one. I’m thoroughly enjoying my career in gastroenterology and am certain that i will continue to do so in the many years to come!

Name: Dr Sinan Al-Rubaye

Representing: Mersey



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Name: Dr Hasan Haboubi

Representing: Wales

Grade: ST5

Interests: Oesophagology, Digestive Oncology

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I'm an academic gastroenterology trainee in the Wales Deanery and have been completing a PhD in Swansea University. I'm passionate about medical education and tackling trainee issues.

Name: Dr Laura Kitto

Representing: East Scotland

Grade: St4

Interests: Hepatology, Research

Ask Laura a Question:

I'm currently working as a Clinical Lecturer in South East Scotland. Gastroenterology is a fascinating and varied specialty with a huge range of pathology, a great mix of acute and chronic conditions, exciting practical skills and lots of opportunities for research. I've thoroughly enjoyed my first year of training and would highly recommend the specialty.

Name: Dr Jennifer Clough

Representing: South Thames



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Name: Dr Philip Harvey

Representing: West Midlands

Grade: OOPR

Interests: Medical leadership, Healthcare Informatics, Luminal gastroenterology and Endoscopy/ERCP

Ask Philip a Question:

I'm currently doing an MD looking at endoscopy outcomes using large scale national databases. I chose gastro because it offers huge variety, practical skills, and working in a multi-skilled team. There is also nothing more rewarding than seeing that CBD stone come through the ampulla! I also believe good quality clinical leadership helps both patients and Doctors. Given the growth of IT infrastructure in healthcare, methodologically robust "big data" is the way to inform those leaders.

Name: Dr Rebecca Dunn

Representing: Northern

Grade: St5

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

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Name: Dr John McGoran

Representing: Northern Ireland

Grade: ST5

Interests: Teaching and training, oesophageal medicine, EUS

Ask John a Question:

I currently work and train in Northern Ireland, where I have got to know my fellow trainees extremely well and link regularly with colleagues south of the border. I chose gastroenterology as a specialty because of the variety, the practical nature of the work and most importantly the partnerships we form with our patients to co-manage many conditions. It's great fun and has a bright future. I'm very eager to hear from any budding gastroenterologists about any questions, issues or suggestions you might have.

Name: Dr Sharmila Subramaniam

Representing: NE Thames



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Name: Dr Emily Tucker

Representing: East Midlands



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Name: Dr Jennifer Veryan

Representing: West of Scotland

Grade: St5

Interests: IBD, medical education

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Name: Dr Michael Fitzpatrick

Representing: Oxford

Grade: ST6 (OOPR)

Interests: Coeliac disease, IBD, Nutrition

Ask Michael a Question:

I am a gastroenterology registrar currently out of programme in research, studying intestinal T cell responses in coeliac disease for a DPhil at the University of Oxford. I joined the BSG committee in 2017 and I also represent Thames Valley trainees at the Royal College of Physicians. Gastroenterology is a great career; it is a busy and challenging specialty, with great opportunities in research, teaching and service development, and most importantly we have a lot of fun doing the job!

Name: Dr Giovanna Sheiybani

Representing: CT1

Grade: CT1

Interests: Endoscopy/Hepatology and Medical Education

I am currently a Trust Grade in Stroke medicine and I am due to start Core Medical Training in the Peninsula Deanery. My enthusiasm to pursue Gastroenterology in the future stems from working with very enthusiastic and practical Consultants from my Foundation Years. My aim is to specialise in Endoscopy or Hepatology.
Being involved in various projects in Gastroenterology and presenting at the BSG conferences, I have been able to thrust myself into the challenges of the practical and academic aspects of this field. Working in this field is immensely rewarding, even as a junior, and the variety of endoscopy, outpatient and inpatient work is what interests me. I have a great interest in medical education and I am currently developing an undergraduate course in using drama to demonstrate the patient narrative and to use these skills to improve history-taking.

Ask Giovanna a Question: