BSG has over four thousand members drawn from the ranks of physicians, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, scientists, nurses, dietitians, and others interested in the field.

Founded in 1937 it has grown from a club to be a major force in British medicine, with representation within the British Royal Colleges and consequently the Department of Health and Government.

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The BSG runs an annual scientific meeting at which many hundred original papers are presented to audiences approaching 2600 professionals. It is also intimately involved in all aspects of training of British gastroenterology and to original research in the field. Research is supported indirectly through the promotion of high standards and offering platforms for scientific presentation and publication, and directly through substantial financial contributions to the Society's affiliated charity, Guts UK. The BSG co-owns three journals. Gut is Europe's highest-ranked gastroenterology journal, by citation-related impact factor, and the Society's oldest title. Frontline Gastroenterology focuses on clinical aspects of gastroenterology. The newest addition to the portfolio is the open-access journal Open Gastroenterology. The Society regularly produces guidelines on aspects of contemporary practice. While the Society exists for the promotion of the discipline it is not itself able to provide medical advice or to recommend individual practitioners. Prospective patients are advised to consult their own medical advisers with a view to referral to a member of the Society.


The role of the Board of Trustees is to ensure good governance with the rules of the Charity Commission.  The Board of Trustees of the BSG comprises both medical and lay trustees.

The Executive group is responsible for the day to day running of the Society supported by the BSG Office while the role of elected council members is to ensure good governance and to ensure that members’ views are considered in any decisions. The Council is assisted by our five higher committees to achieve its goals.

Positions within BSG committees are filled through an election, or for senior officer posts, through competitive interviews.

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The history of the BSG


The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) was founded in 1937 by Sir Arthur Hurst as a Gastroenterological Club with just 36 members. Sir Arthur Hurst became the first President. At that time, its objectives were described as the advancement of gastroenterology and promotion of friendship amongst those who have special interest in the disorders of the alimentary tract. In 1938, T L Hardy was elected Secretary and it is to him that a greater part of the success of the club is due.


The organisation grew steadily and 2 years later it numbered 100 members. In 1949, it was renamed the British Society of Gastroenterology. From the beginning, it was involved with other international societies, but it wasn't until 1952 after the Second World War that the proposed international meeting among these societies became a reality. In 1956, it acted as host at the fifth meeting of the Association of the National European and Mediterranean Societies of Gastro-Enterology, which was attended by over 800 visitors and delegates from around the world.


In 1948, a proposal was put forward to establish a British Journal of Gastroenterology which published medical papers, but it wasn't until 1960 that this became a reality with the first publication of the Journal 'Gut'.


The first meeting of the British Society for Digestive Endoscopy was held in 1972 following the Spring Meeting of the BSG. Over 100 members of the BSDE and BSG attended. Both societies maintained strong links, and during the 1980s, the British Society for Digestive Endoscopy was incorporated into the BSG. The incorporation of the BSDE also accelerated the growth of the BSG into a wider membership as there were nurses, radiographers, technicians and others involved in the practice of clinical endoscopy. To this day, the Endoscopy section of the BSG remains a very strong section of the BSG.


Until 2011, there was a separate parallel organisation, Trainees in Gastroenterology (TiG), which for over 20 years, was the national representative organisation for registrars in the UK. It helped shape specialty training in the UK and provided a national forum for networking amongst trainees. It had strong links with the BSG, with representation on the BSG Council, and organised symposia at the Annual Meeting. In 2011, constitutional reform in the BSG formalised the formation of the BSG Trainees Section, along with Trainee representation on all committees.