Taster Membership

BMJ Open Gastroenterology

BMJ Open Gastroenterology is an online-only, peer-reviewed, Open Access gastroenterology journal, dedicated to publishing high-quality medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas of gastroenterology. The journal publishes all research study types, from study protocols to phase I trials to meta-analyses, including small or specialist studies. Publishing procedures are built around continuous publication, publishing research online as soon as the article is ready.

BMJ Open Gastroenterology aims to operate a fast submission and review process with continuous publication online, to ensure timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide.

November's Selection:

Impact of preoperative serum albumin on 30-day mortality following surgery for colorectal cancer: a population-based cohort study
misc. Authors
BMJ Open Gastro 2015;2:e000047. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000047

Long-term follow-up and suboptimal treatment rates of treatment-eligible chronic hepatitis B patients in diverse practice settings: a gap in linkage to care
misc. Authors
BMJ Open Gastro 2015;2:e000060. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000060

Pulseless electrical activity arrest due to air embolism during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: a case report and review of the literature
Mathew J, Parker C, Wang J
BMJ Open Gastro 2015;2:e000046. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000046

October's Selection:

Predictors of hepatic decompensation after TACE for hepatocellular carcinoma
misc. Authors
BMJ Open Gastro 2015;2:e000032. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000032

Venous thromboembolism and subsequent risk of cancer in patients with liver disease: a population-based cohort study
misc. Authors
BMJ Open Gastro 2015;2:e000043. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000043

Core Research Essay Prize 2016


Core is offering a £1,000 award for the best essay based on gastroenterology or hepatology research undertaken by a clinical or basic science researcher during their MD or PhD. The work must be the subject of at least one abstract submitted for presentation at the 2016 British Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting in Liverpool. Further information and the application form are available to download. The closing date is 4 March 2016.

Dr Falk Pharma UK/Core Awards 2016


The Dr Falk/Core awards recognise those who bring new knowledge and insight to the field of gastroenterology and hepatology. For those committed to furthering research or patient care, the 2016 awards are an opportunity to achieve national recognition as well as the financial support to take your career further.

This year's prizes consist of the following:

  • A £1000 prize for the best essay on gastroenterology research personally undertaken by medical students who were on an intercalated BSc/MRes/MSc/MPH/MBPhD* course during the previous academic year (2014/2015) - download the application
  • Four £1500 bursaries for medical students taking full-time science degrees (BSc/MRes/MSc/MPH/MBPhD*) focusing on gastrointestinal or liver-related disease in the current academic year (2015/2016) - download the application
  • Two £2500 bursaries to support research for F1/F2 doctors who are undertaking research in an area relevant to gastroenterology - download the application
  • A £1,000 award for primary and secondary care nurses for initiatives that have advanced patient care - download the application.

*PhD students should note that they may apply for a bursary only once during their three-year studentship and that they may apply for the essay prize when their PhD has been completed.

The application deadline is 17:00 on Friday 4 March 2016. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Why did I choose gastroenterology and why would I recommend it?

Dr Philip J Smith, SpR in gastroenterology, London (ST4)

Gastroenterology is one of the most diverse and exciting specialties available to the budding physician who not only relishes the prospect of looking after acutely sick and chronically unwell patients, but also enjoys the challenge of carrying out technical procedures that are sometimes very demanding.

Some specialists deal with a single organ but gastroenterologists manage patients with disorders of the liver, intestines, stomach, oesophagus, pancreas and gallbladder – in short, this is a specialty that is too varied to let you become bored! Having said that, there is 'scope' to become highly specialised in an area of gastroenterology that appeals to you. Either way, you will find that every day is different and dynamic, and this will keep you on your toes.

Gastroenterology has grown faster than any other major specialty, and ongoing scientific and technological developments in this field mean that you are always acquiring new skills and extending your knowledge.

To be a gastroenterologist, you need to: be adaptable and deal with rapidly changing situations; be energetic and enthusiastic (as well as resilient) to cope with life and death situations; be interested in managing patients with both serious and complex chronic diseases and, most importantly, be a team player.

More than any other specialty, gastroenterologists are constantly interacting with other healthcare professionals as part of multidisciplinary teams – from surgeons, to histopathologists, oncologists, dieticians, nurse endoscopists, radiologists and many more. In short, if all of the above excites you, as it did with me, then gastroenterology is the specialty for you.

Welcome to the BSG Taster Membership Microsite!

The BSG has re-launched its Taster Membership scheme to promote Gastroenterology to aspiring medical students and all junior trainees pre-ST3. We are looking to attract students, foundation doctors and Core medical trainees who show enthusiasm for gastroenterology by participation in audit, research SSU's or other gastroenterology related projects. Benefits of this scheme include access to a tailored microsite on the BSG website, with educational content, political commentary and an informal mentoring scheme (supported by the BSG Trainee section). Substantially reduced conference rates are available for BSG scientific meetings and submission of abstracts to the BSG scientific meeting is actively encouraged. To apply go to the members area and complete the online application form. Cost is minimal (£15pa). The support of a BSG member is needed to join the Society and their BSG membership number should be included on your application (this could be a gastroenterologist who is your educational/clinical supervisor or a supervising gastroenterologist for your clinical attachment, SSU or foundation post). After your first payment of £15 all future payments will be taken by direct debit.

Taster Members Login

Please enter your user id in the box below to access the taster member private area.

Video: Choosing a career in Gastro?

Editing Taster Membership Details

Access to Aptify...


your BSG membership database.


If you wish to see or update your membership record or change your password please click here.

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 Laith Alrubaiy

Position: Chair

Representing: Wales

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 Laith a Question:

Name: Dr Louise China

Position: Secretary

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 Charlotte Rutter

Position: Former 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:

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 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 Prakash Ramachandran

Representing: East of Scotland

Grade: ST4

Interests: Hepatology, Academic Medicine, Basic Science Research

Ask Prakash a Question:

Name: Dr Margaret Corrigan

Representing: Mersey

Grade: ST5

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

Ask Margaret a Question:

Name: Dr Shairoz Samji

Representing: Yorkshire & Humber

Grade: ST5

Interests: Endoscopy, Medical Education

Ask Shairoz a Question:

Name: Dr Durayd Alzoubaidi

Representing: East of England

Grade: ST5

Interests: Upper GI and Hepatology

Ask Durayd a Question:

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:

Name: Dr Charlotte Ford

Representing: S Thames

Grade: ST6

Interests: IBD, Medical education

Ask Charlotte a Question:

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:

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:

Name: Dr Liam Morris

Representing: North West

Grade: ST4

Interests: Medical education, Endoscopy

Ask Liam a Question:

I am an ST4 in the North West of England currently working in Blackpool. The diversity within gastroenterology is what drove me to the speciality. I find that the mix of practical skills and complex clinical situations keep the speciality interesting and challenging. It is also an evolving field with high quality research leading to regular changes in clinical practice. There is always more to learn!

Name: Dr Steve Dixon

Representing: Severn & South-West Peninsula

Grade: ST5

Interests: Endoscopy, Luminal Gastroenterology & Nutrition

Ask Steve a Question:

I am a gastroenterology registrar with a diverse range of interests. I'd be delighted to hear from anyone interested in the career.

Name: Dr Kesavan Kandiah

Representing: NW Thames

Grade: St6 (Currently in OOPR)

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 John Eccles

Representing: Northern Ireland

Grade: St5

Interests: Endoscopy, Medical Education

Ask John a Question:

Name: Dr Suranga Dharmasiri

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 Michael Hewitt

Representing: CT2

Grade: CT2

Interests: Endoscopy, Hepatology

I am currently a core medical trainee with a strong interest in gastroenterology, having completed a BSc and two clinical posts in the specialty. The combination of practical skills with a diverse range of pathology and patient demographics makes it a very appealing career choice that I am looking to pursue.

Ask Michael a Question:

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: