A Day in the Life of a Proctologist

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Work And Fun

A proctologist is a surgeon who specializes in the treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.  It is an older term that is well known, but less often used than in times past.  The newer term is a colon and rectal surgeon.  Although a proctologist may be the punch line of many jokes, a proctologist is just the person you want to see when your “rear end” hurts or you have digestive problems caused by a colon or rectal abnormality.

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Proctologists have some of the highest job satisfaction ratings.  Generally, they are able to provide tremendous relief to their patients in Los Angeles, and in all cities.  The work is enjoyable and most proctologists have a great sense of humor.  But, how are they trained?

Training.  Serious.

A proctologist is first and foremost, a physician.  Four years of medical school encompasses basic science and learning patient care.  Graduation and the M.D. degree are followed by testing and then certification.  Five years of general surgical internship and residency are next.  The focus on this part of education is on patient care, followed by advanced decision making, more surgical training in surgical technique.  By the time the surgeon has finished the fifth year, the acquired skills are quite sophisticated.  The fifth year is followed by written and oral boards, and certification.

For those wishing to specialize in proctology, there follows a final fellowship year of intense, focused study of the diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.  Surgical skills are honed further as basic science study is applied to the understanding and treatment of diseases.  Finally, after this final year of fellowship, written and oral boards are taken and the newly trained proctologist is ready for a career in private practice or academia.

Working.  Intense And Fun.

A day in the life of the proctologist involves rounding in hospitals such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, seeing patients with many different abdominal problems such as colon or rectal cancer, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and a host of other maladies.  The morning is usually also spent operating and teaching medical students, residents and proctology fellows.

In the office, the proctologist sees patients with hemorrhoids, anal pain of unknown causes, infections, anal itching, bleeding or discharge, and many other problems.  Many of these problems can be remedied with simple solutions.  Some require an operation, and the proctologist spends time explaining the operation and all that is involved.

The Evening.

The evening is spent finishing office work and, quite frequently, returning to the hospital to see patients needing more attention.  The next day, all of this is happily repeated.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

The board certified surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates have spent much time in preparing to help their patients whenever help is needed.  By calling (310)273-2310, you can schedule an appointment to begin receiving the help you need.  Your visit is confidential and may be your first step down the path to good health.

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