Q: What's a typical workday like for you?

A: In the morning, I typically do endoscopic procedures, colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy. In the afternoons, I see patients for specialty consultations for digestive problems or liver problems, and I also do teaching activities. Some weeks, for the entire week, I will do inpatient consultations and procedures for hospitalized patients with GI and liver disease.

Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?

A: As a specialist and consultant, I provide consultative services for primary care providers in managing GI and liver disease. I'm also the GI training program director for the University of Minnesota, so I teach residents who are learning to be specialists in my field.

Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?

A: I work closely with nurses who have had special training and have skills in assisting at endoscopic procedures. I also do a lot of teaching and supervision of trainees and students.

Q: Why did you become a gastroenterologist?

A: As an undergraduate and during medical school, I had the opportunity to participate in gastrointestinal physiology research. I found that to be fascinating and diverse, and I also learned that I liked teaching and academic medicine.

Q: What do you like about your work?

A: What I like most is teaching and watching the students and the trainees grow and improve. I also like interacting with patients and the challenge of the types of problems that are in my specialty field.

Nancy Crotti is a freelance writer who lives in St. Paul.