What Does a Gastroenterologist Do?

Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine that addresses issues of the digestive tract and liver. It is a subspecialty of Internal Medicine, so a gastroenterologist completes the same training as an internist before pursuing additional fellowship training. By the time the gastroenterology physicians at Nashville’s St. Thomas Medical Group are treating patients, they’ve had five to six years of specialized training since completing medical school.

What Conditions Does a Gastroenterology Doctor Treat?

Gastroenterologists may treat a wide range of conditions affecting the digestive tract, including:

  • Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Colon & Colorectal Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
  • Heartburn, Acid Reflux & GERD
  • Helicobacter Pylori (Stomach Infection)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Liver Disease
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD)
  • Stomach Problems and Swallowing Problems
  • Ulcerative Colitis

If your primary care doctor or an urgent/emergent care physician believes you may have one of these conditions and require specialized care, he or she could refer you to a gastroenterologist for further evaluation and treatment.

What Treatments Are Available at St. Thomas Medical Group?

Providers at St. Thomas Medical Group Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center offer many procedures that aid in diagnosing and repairing issues of the digestive tract. These procedures may include (but are not limited to):

  • Colonoscopy: A diagnostic test that allows the gastroenterologist to examine the entire large intestine. This exam is commonly used to search for possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and other intestinal complications. Learn more.
  • Hemorrhoid Banding: A non-surgical and non-invasive procedure that can be done in-office to alleviate hemorrhoid pain and symptoms. Learn more.
  • Upper Endoscopy: A diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. During an EGD test, an endoscope is passed down your throat and along the length of your esophagus to evaluate the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This procedure may also be used to obtain a small sample for biopsy. Learn more.

Meet Our Providers

Meet the gastroenterologists at St. Thomas Medical Group, and find out what makes our physician-owned practice so unique…

Allan Bailey, M.D.

  • Clinical instructor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine
  • Teaches Gastroenterology to residents at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.
  • Has served as Chief of Endoscopy at Baptist Hospital and Skyline Medical Center.

Antonio Granda, M.D.

  • Has been practicing with St. Thomas Medical Group since 1978.
  • Professional interests include study of the liver and treatments for Hepatitis C.

Jeffrey B. Eskind, M.D.

  • Holds an appointment at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as an Associate Professor of Medicine.
  • Is part of a multi-generational family of physicians, including his father, brother, a son, and a daughter-in-law, all of whom have practiced or are practicing in the Nashville area.

Howard R. Mertz, M.D.

  • Nashville Magazine’s survey of local physicians rated Dr. Mertz in the top 85 physicians and top three gastroenterologists in Nashville in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
  • U.S. News and World Report rates Dr Mertz in the top 1% of Gastroenterologists in the Unites States (2012).
  • Is the most experienced endoscopic ultrasonographer in Tennessee with a caseload over 14,000 and over 5,000 fine needle biopsies.

Ronald E. Pruitt, M.D.

  • One of the world’s expert authorities in pancreaticobiliary endoscopy (ERCP), performing approximately 500 of these procedures each year.
  • Listed by his peers as one of Nashville’s most talented and respected physicians in Consumers’ Guide to Top Doctors, a publication of medicine’s best.

Edward E. White, M.D.

  • Completed his Internship, Internal Medicine Residency and served his Gastroenterology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • While at Vanderbilt he served as the preceptor for second-year medical students, as well as instructing a small group in a gastrointestinal section of physiology.

St. Thomas Medical Group Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center

St. Thomas Medical Group Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center is committed to ensuring that your experience with us is relaxed and worry-free, from consultation through recovery. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call +1 (615) 301-7040.