Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Family Docs Do Colonoscopies Safely

(HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopies performed by family doctors who are trained to conduct the procedure are safe, effective and meet standard quality guidelines for colon cancer screenings, new research reveals.

The finding is based on an analysis of 12 earlier studies conducted between 1966 and 2007, all of which focused specifically on the outcomes of colonoscopies performed by primary-care physicians -- as opposed to gastrointestinal specialists.

Noting that the nation's approximately 12,000 board-certified gastroenterologists are not sufficient in number to meet the ideal screening needs of the country's third most common cancer, the authors said that the findings should encourage a "fundamental role" for properly trained primary-care physicians -- particularly in rural areas -- as part of an effort to broaden access to colonoscopies. Read more...

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