Hepatology is the branch of medicine that incorporates the study of liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas as well as management of their disorders. Historically, Hepatology grew out of gastroenterology and so became a subfield of it but today it is emerging as a freestanding medical specialty. The liver is the body's largest organ and Hepatology is a large field. It includes the study of acute and chronic hepatitis, viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, genetic and metabolic liver diseases and their complications, liver cancer, liver transplantation, drug metabolism (which depends largely upon the liver), and immunology as it pertains to the liver.
Dr. Sheila Sherlock (1918-2001), was a pioneer in the science of liver disease, is considered the "mother of hepatology." Her book, "Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System" which she first published in 1955, was the first standard textbook on clinical liver disease.
Hepatology is the postgraduate level education and can be pursued only after the completion of MBBS. So the steps involved in the process of becoming a Hepatologists are as follows-
Bachelor Courses (4 year)
Master Courses (3 year)
Human values and humanities don’t come with educational degrees. Though these doctors deal with humans at their most crucial stages so they should possess certain qualities like patience, politeness, ability to build harmonious relationship with their patients, strong ethics, service mentality, self-motivation, understanding etc. In addition to these a good doctor should have the ability to deal with young patients( children) with love and the ability to understand their behavior, Good communication skills and keen observation and playful manner around children.
FUTURE PROSPECTS IN HEPATOLOGY
The practice of hepatology has evolved tremendously over the past several years. The development of increasingly effective antiviral therapy has transformed the management of viral hepatitis; likewise, the availability of liver transplantation as a viable treatment option in the setting of end-stage liver disease (ESLD) or hepatocellular carcinoma has vastly changed the outlook for patients with advanced liver disease. Treatment strategies for patients with chronic liver diseases have become more complex and the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, ESLD associated with hepatitis C, and hepatocellular carcinoma are expected to increase over the next decade.
TOP MEDICAL COLLEGES FOR HEPATOLOGY
SOME OF THE BEST BOOKS FOR HEPATOLOGY