Research Article

Gastrointestinal endoscopy: some perspectives.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 25 September 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:868
  1. A K Grant,
  2. H A Harley


    Remarkable technological advances of fibreoptic endoscopy in the past two decades have produced important improvements in diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders. These advances must be kept in perspective; continuing, critical assessment of their contribution to the management of patients is desirable. Endoscopy can have adverse effects on the total performance of departments of gastroenterology, on gastroenterology as a discipline, and even on the status of the medical profession in the community. Gastroenterologists need to show proficiency of performance and integrity of practice. Control may be achieved by certification delineation of privileges, peer review, public accountability, and realistic financial returns for procedures. Records of a department of gastroenterology indicate that some control may be achieved by insistence on a consultation before decision on endoscopy. This may be a desirable alternative to endoscopy on demand. Undue emphasis on technology runs some risk of destroying the proper practice of consultant medicine.