Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition | Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. Here are some questions we get from patients and families about our treatments, procedures and our division in general. If you have a question and cannot find an answer, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

What happens in a GI evaluation?

The initial GI evaluation could take one or two visits with one of our doctors in the GI Program. During the first visit, a doctor or nurse practitioner will ask you and your child questions. Your child will have a physical exam. X-rays, blood tests, or other tests may be done at this first visit.

A dietitian or other members of the GI team may also see your child. The doctor or nurse practitioner will talk with you about the results of the evaluation and make a plan for your child. This may include further testing. The results will be sent to your child's other doctors. Regular follow-up visits may be needed to see how your child is doing.

How long will the visit take?

A first visit may take up to two or three hours. Follow-up visits take about 30 or 45 minutes. Plan to arrive 30 to 45 minutes before the time of your visit. This will give you enough time to park and register at the registration desk. Bring your parking ticket so it can be stamped for discount parking.Your child's visit may have to be rescheduled if you don't arrive on time.

Who are the staff of the gastroenterology program?

Your child will be seen by a gastroenterologist. Fellows, residents, medical students or a nurse practitioner may also see your child. The attending doctor manages all of your child's care and closely supervises the work of the residents, fellows and the nurse practitioners.

  • A fellow is a licensed doctor who has completed training in pediatrics and is training in gastroenterology.
  • A resident is a licensed doctor with training in pediatrics.
  • A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a master's degree and advanced training in pediatrics.

The nursing staff helps care for your child and teaches you about your child's illness. Nurses discuss your child's medicine and prepare you and your child for any tests. It is helpful to write down questions before you come for a visit. You can also call the nurses with any questions about your child's visit, illness or treatment.

What do the registered dietitians do?

Our team of registered dietitians is dedicated to designing a diet for your child that will work to manage and improve your child’s condition.

  • A dietitian will review your child's diet and suggest foods that can be added or subtracted to make sure it is balanced.
  • In many cases, a dietitian will work with your family over a period of time to help you and your child make the diet changes your child may need for her condition.

What do social workers do? 

Our social worker is available to help families cope with their child's condition. Our social worker can offer support and help you find hospital and community resources. They can also assist with financial and insurance concerns related to your child's condition.