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Gastroenterologists derive job satisfaction from performing endoscopic procedures, establishing diagnoses, and explaining and treating symptoms. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) do not usually require endoscopic procedures, diagnosis is often uncertain, symptoms cannot easily be explained, and there is no effective treatment the health service will pay for. Its not surprising therefore that few gastroenterologists relish the prospect of seeing a patient with IBS. Can this textbook of IBS help their plight? The answer is undoubtedly yes; however, success with IBS patients depends critically on good communication, a skill that cannot be gained from reading a textbook.
The authors (both basic scientists at heart) are to be congratulated on assembling a holistic …
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