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 Charlotte Rutter

Position: Chair

Grade: ST7

I currently work in Gloucester as a Severn Deanery trainee. I started out as a basic surgical trainee but a career in medicine appealed as I missed the diagnostic challenge of being a physician.

Gastroenterology is a varied specialty combining patients of all ages, acute emergencies, such as upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and enables you to utilise your practical skills in endoscopy. It is a fantastic choice of specialty and I look forward to offering advice to any potential gastroenterologists in the making!

Ask Charlotte a Question:
crutter@nhs.net


Name: Dr Laith Alrubaiy

Position: Secretary

Grade: ST4

I am an academic clinical trainee in Gastroenterology from Wales. What I like about the specialty is the diversity of patients and their presentations. Gastroenterology combines both the theoretical aspect of medicine with the practical skills of endoscopy. You won't get bored doing Gastroenterology, as you will come across new challenging cases on daily bases. Anyone is welcome to join us, as there is always a need for young and enthusiastic gastroenterologists.

Ask a Question:
laithalrubaiy@gmail.com


Name: Dr Phil Smith

Position: Former Chair

Representing: NE Thames

Grade: Specialty Registrar, ST4

I am a Gastroenterology SpR and MRC Clinical Research training Fellow at UCL, and also Secretary of the BSG trainees section and representative for North East Thames. My drive for becoming a Gastroenterologist stems from my own experience of living with Crohn's disease. Coming from a non-medical background, my aim is to always help others get the 'insider's guide' needed to succeed in this exciting specialty.

Ask Phil a Question:
drphilipjsmithbsg@gmail.com


Name: Dr Max Hu

Representing: Northern

Grade: StR5

Interests:Endoscopy & Medical Education

Gastroenterology is an expanding specialty with a good variety of subspecialty interests for you to develop in the future. There is never a dull moment as the spectrum of clinical situations we encounter is arguably amongst the most challenging and exciting out there. I would highly recommend applying for Taster Membership to have a better grasp of what Gastroenterology and the BSG have to offer.

Ask Max a Question:
Dr Max Hu


Name: Dr Sujata Biswas

Representing: Oxford

Grade: ST6

Interests: Luminal gastroenterology with interest in endoscopy and IBD

I am a Gastro trainee and MRC clinical research training fellow in Oxford. I was drawn to Gastroenterology by the wide spectrum of disease and the diversity of the patient population. I like the contrast of acute emergencies with chronic illness management. It's certainly not a specialty you get bored in easily and there's of course plenty of scope for research. It won't disappoint!

Ask Sujata a Question:
Dr Sujata Biswas


Name: Dr Georgina Chadwick

Representing: NW Thames

Grade: ST6

Interests: Advanced Endoscopy

I am a Gastroenterology SpR in NW Thames region, currently taking time out in research at the Royal College of Surgeons.
I chose Gastroenetrology because it gave the perfect opportunity to combine the diagnostic skills of a physician with the practical skills of surgeon. As a result my main area of interest is endoscopy.

Ask Georgina a Question:
georginamansfield@hotmail.com


Name: Dr Pete Basford

Representing: Wessex

Grade: ST6

I am a specialist registrar currently in an endoscopy research post at Portsmouth Hospitals. Gastroenterology is a great specialty offering a balance between ward, clinic, and the practical skills of endoscopy.

Ask Pete a Question:
petebasford@hotmail.com


Name: Dr Nidhi Sagar

Representing: West Midlands

Grade: Clinical Research Fellow in Gastroenterology (ST6)

Interests: Luminal gastroenterology, general hepatology and postgraduate medical education

Ask Nidhi a Question:
Dr Nidhi Sagar


Name: Dr Shivaram Bhat

Representing: Northern Ireland

Grade: ST5

Interests: IBD, Barrett's Oesophagus

Ask Shivaram a Question:
shiv_bhat@doctors.org.uk


Name: Dr Prakash Ramachandran

Representing: East of Scotland

Grade: ST4

Interests: Hepatology, Academic Medicine, Basic Science Research

Ask Prakash a Question:
prakash.ramachandran@nhs.net


Name: Dr Margaret Corrigan

Representing: Mersey

Grade: ST5

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

Ask Margaret a Question:
margaretcorrigan@doctors.org.uk


Name: Dr Shairoz Samji

Representing: Yorkshire & Humber

Grade: ST5

Interests: Endoscopy, Medical Education

Ask Shairoz a Question:
shairozsamji@gmail.com


Name: Dr Durayd Alzoubaidi

Representing: East of England

Grade: ST5

Interests: Upper GI and Hepatology

Ask Durayd a Question:
d.alzoubaidi@nhs.net


Name: Dr Elaine Robertson

Representing: West of Scotland

Grade: ST5

Interests: General Gastroenterology with an interest in oesophageal disorders and IBD

I knew from early on that I wanted to do hospital medicine but wasn't sure about a specialty. One of the gastroenterology consultants that I worked with during my medical rotation was very enthusiastic. She encouraged me to come along to scope lists and supported my training in clinics and on the ward. A career in gastro was a natural progression. I definitely made the right decision. I really enjoy scoping and there's a good mix of clinical challenges from the patients with chronic illnesses like IBD to the acutely unwell patients with liver disease. I would highly recommend it!

Ask Elaine a Question:
elainevrobertson@gmail.com


Name: Dr Louise China

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:
louise.china@ucl.ac.uk


Name: Dr Charlotte Ford

Representing: S Thames

Grade: ST6

Interests: IBD, Medical education

Ask Charlotte a Question:
charlotte.ford@southlondon.HEE.nhs.uk


Name: Dr Fergus JQ Chedgy

Representing: KSS

Grade: ST6 (Currently OOPR)

Interests: Advanced Endoscopy, Research, Barrett's Oesophagus

I am Gastroenterology registrar in the KSS region, currently taking time out to do research in Endoscopy. I have found Gastroenterology the perfect career choice as it offers a balance of both acute and chronic diseases, with the opportunity to develop practical skills in endoscopy. I don't think I could have chosen better!

Ask Fergus a Question:
ferguschedgy@yahoo.co.uk


Name: Dr Shivkumar Budihal

Representing: East Midlands

Grade: Speciality Registrar, ST6

Interests: Hepatobiliary Medicine and Advanced Endoscopy

Deanery: East Midlands South Deanery

Place of Work: University Hospitals Leicester

Ask Shivkumar a Question:
shivbudihal@gmail.com