A Career in Gastroenterology

Updated: May 24, 2019

The Melanin Medics Blog Series showcasing black Medical Professionals in various Medical Specialties. Sharing their journeys, challenges and life lessons. #RepresentationMatters. This week we're featuring a Gastroenterologist!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far

My name is Dr Yaa Danso and I am a Gastroenterology Registrar. I completed my medical training in Bart's and the London and graduated in 2013. I decided for a change in scenery and opted to complete my foundation training in the North West deanery. I moved to Manchester and worked in large DGH. During this time I got involved in teaching and introduced my own teaching programme within the trust. I continued in Manchester for my core medical training and it was these two years that really made my, what I would call, my "Doctor forming moments". It was also during this time that I had begun to focus on my desired speciality. After core medical training I took a year out where I took a few holiday breaks and also worked as a registrar in a few different specialities to get a feel for the next 5 years!

I'm now working as a Gastroenterology ST3 in the North West, coincidentally in the same hospital I began as an FY1. More recently I am particularly proud to be involved in the organisation for Ghanian Doctors and Dentists Association UK @GDDAUK, who won a prestigious GUBA Award in 2018.

Why did you choose this Specialty?

When I first started as an FYI I was quite sure I wanted to do hospital medicine. Initially they all the specialities seemed very similar so I looked towards the Consultants/regs. I looked at if they seemed happy in they're job, were they stressed, are they approachable, did they enjoy their own speciality; this can be very eye opening. For Gastroenterology, I loved the mix of things to do- particularly learning how to do endoscopy (this is the best part of my week) and getting involved with emergencies. The needs for Gastroenterologists, female ones especially, are growing. Out of the 10 Gastroenterology seniors in my hospital (SpRs and Consultants) I am the only woman! Probably the most important for me was the work life balance. I knew working in hospital I would be expected to do out-of-hours work, but at the moment most Gastroenterologists are part of the Gastro Emergency rota and thus forgo all general medical on-calls...this clinched it for me

. Gastroenterology is a really great speciality, I love what I'm doing at the moment and I would encourage others to try a taster week at their