A key department at Carilion Clinic is growing rapidly in Roanoke.
Gastroenterology deals with several different areas including intestinal and pancreatic diseases.
The department is hiring more doctors while also growing its academic influence.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has expanded its gastroenterology staff from two to nine since 2010, allowing for more research opportunities and money for experimental drugs.
"Expanding the physicians domain into academia only enhances patient care," said Dr. Paul Yeaton. "We see this ability to develop an academic practice."
Yeaton said this helps cover a growing need for this specialty in Southwest Virginia.