CollegeGirl~My guess is that everyone's first trip to a gastro is different, but I can tell you what I went through. My doc got me a referral to him and his office sent me tons of paper work to fill out and then bring it back when I went to the appointment. It started out normal, wt., bp, temp., etc...The doc came in and spoke with me and asked me questions and was able to diagnose me very quick b/c of the symptoms I was having(I have ulcerative colitis). He then had his nurse come in and I know this sounds terrifying, but its really not as bad as it sounds, he did a rectal exam. He did this to check for blood, which I tested positive for. He then scheduled me for a colonoscopy and it backed up his dx as it being ulcerative colitis. The scope was easy--its the prep that's the worse, but its not terrible. I'm in college too and I'm graduating in May. Its been tough going through school with this, but I've stuck it out and all. I've received tons of support from my family, husband, doctors, professors, and from this bulletin board. Keep your head up--if you do visit a gastro, its not to bad and if you get one like I have, he's wonderful!! Hope all goes well for you and I hope that this post helps you too. Best Wishes!!