There are about 270 physicians with a special interest in gastroenterology distributed throughout the United Kingdom; most of them (91%) are members of the British Society of Gastroenterology. Two-thirds of these physicians regard their post as that of general physician with a special interest in gastroenterology and a quarter as general physician. Very few physicians (nine) practise gastroenterology alone. Most physicians devote between three and six sessions to gastroenterology; this time is divided between inpatient care, outpatient consultation, and endoscopy in roughly equal proportions. Most physicians spend one to two sessions performing endoscopy. Nearly all district general hospitals, except the smallest with a staff of two or three physicians, have a physician with a special interest in gastroenterology on their staff. Some district general hospitals and most university hospitals have two such physicians. The number of likely consultant vacancies by retirement on grounds of age is small in the next five years (14) and then rises progressively, reaching about eight per annum in 1991-95 and more than 10 per annum thereafter. There are about 90 trainees of senior registrar status who aspire to a career as consultant physician with a special interest in gastroenterology, or an academic career in gastroenterology, distributed throughout the country. There are also eight trainees of senior registrar status who wish to obtain a post as general physician with gastroenterology as one of two or more special interests. There are known to be about 70 trainees of registrar status who wish to train in general medicine with a special interest in gastroenterology and another 24 who wish to make gastroenterology one of their special interests.
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