Types of Doctors: In a nutshell, medical professionals, or simply doctors, help in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of various diseases. Hence, if you have ever become so ill that you had to visit a doctor, you know exactly how important their job is.
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When dealing with a specific health illness, it is important to provide the best possible medication and treatment. To do that, one needs to determine which type of medical professional is suited to treat that condition. But the medical field, like in any other fields in the industry, is made up of different types of doctors and specialists.
Their intense and rigorous medical training have demanded them not only to master at least the basics of scientific discipline which include anatomy, cell biology, physiology, epidemiology, pharmacology, nutrition, and so on but also to specialize in their chosen specific field.
In order to give an overview, below is a list of the complete & comprehensive 56 different types of doctors & health care professionals (both medical and non-medical) and the area they specialize in.
Types of Doctors (Medical)
#1 AllergistAn allergist is a healthcare professional who specializes on the identification and treatment of asthma, allergies, and related diseases. In addition to that, an allergist is also trained in determining the factors that trigger such diseases.
#2 Anaesthesiologist / Anasthesiologist / AnesthesiologistAnaesthesiologists play a major decisive role in pain management. As their name suggests, anaesthesiologists are physicians trained in anaesthesiology or the science of administering anaesthesia to patients during the surgeries. Before (most) surgeries anaesthesia is given in order to either relieve the pain or put them into sleep in the course of the operation.
#3 AndrologistAn Andrologist is the male equivalent of a gynecologist; they are concerned with helping their male patients with urological, sexual, and reproductive problems that are unique to men.
#4 CardiologistCardiologists are medical professionals that examine and treat illnesses associated with the cardiovascular system which includes the heart and blood vessels. They also help their patients learn about their risk factors for heart disease and determine what treatment or procedure should they undergo. Pediatric cardiologist is a specialized physician within cardiology who treats and diagnoses heart complication in children.
#5 Cardiac ElectrophysiologistCardiac electrophysiologist is basically a cardiologist who is specialized in the heart’s electrical system that includes treating heart rhythm issues such as atrial fibrillation.
#6 DermatologistDermatologists are health professionals primarily focused on the diagnosis of conditions associated with the skin, hair, nails. Aside from that, they could also provide you several treatments that deals with everything from acne treatment to anti-aging procedures.
#7 Emergency Medicine / Emergency (ER) DoctorsEmergency doctors care for patients with an immediate medical attention such as acute illnesses or injuries from accidents and they would undertake acute interventions to stabilize the patient.
#8 EndocrinologistAn endocrinologist is a medical doctor under the category of internal medicine, who studies the diseases that affect the endocrine system which is responsible for secreting and regulating the body’s hormone levels.
#9 EpidemiologistAn epidemiologist studies the causes and patterns of diseases in a population or area, and make efforts to prevent epidemics/pandemics from reoccurring. They are more of scientists rather than doctors who specializes in epidemic illness which are highly viral (such as new diseases) and provide or develop cures and also modes of prevention of diseases with vaccinations.
#10 Family Medicine PhysicianPhysicians who specialize in family medicine are knowledgeable in and can treat a wide range of medical diseases of patients of all ages. In general, a physician specialized in this field is a pediatrician and an internist combined into one.
#11 GastroenterologistAs their name suggests, gastroenterologists are medical professionals focused on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract which include the stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, and liver.
#12 GeriatricianA Geriatrician takes care of elderly people. Because of their declining immunity that arise with senility and their multiple health complications, the elderly need to be highly taken care of.
#13 Hyperbaric PhysicianHyperbaric physicians/doctors are medical doctors trained in hyperbaric medicine such as providing hyperbaric oxygen (HBO – higher pressure of Oxygen than what we see in air around us) therapy for conditions such as decompression illness and carbon monoxide poisoning from fire fumes.
#14 HematologistA hematologist is a specialist in hematology which is the study of blood, blood-forming organs and blood related diseases. Typical hematologist deals with the treatment of blood disorders and malignancies, including types such as hemophilia, leukemia, lymphoma and sickle-cell anemia.
#15 HepatologistHepatologist is a specialized doctor dealing with study, prevention, diagnosis and management of diseases that affect the liver, gall-bladder, biliary tree and pancreas. The term hepatology is derived from the Greek words “hepatikos” meaning liver and “logia,” meaning study.
#16 ImmunologistAn immunologist is a medical professional who investigates and studies the physiological processes and functions of the body’s immune system. This knowledge is then applied in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of diseases that affect the said system.
#17 IntensivistAn intensivist is a medical doctor specialized in training and treating critically ill patients. Sometimes they are referred as a critical care physician.
#18 Internal Medicine SpecialistAn Internal Medicine Specialist is also called internist, who specializes in the management and treatment of chronic adult illnesses through non-surgical procedures like pain relievers and anesthetics.
#19 Maxillofacial Surgeon / Oral SurgeonMaxillofacial Surgeons are dentists who trained in surgery of the mouth and jaw. These doctors specialize in treating and reconstructing areas of the face, head, or neck after an injury or surgery.
#20 Medical GeneticistA medical geneticist is trained in general medicine, genetic diagnosis, and the treatment of patients with genetic disorders. They use molecular genetics, cytogenetics, and biochemical tests to treat patients in a comprehensive molecular and clinical approach. Check out the genetic testing pros & cons here.
#21 NeonatologistA neonatologist is basically a type of pediatrician who specialize in the medical care of newborn infants, particularly the critically ill premature and full-time newborn infants.
#22 NephrologistNephrologists are trained medical doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the kidney and urinary system, such as inflammation of the kidneys, kidney biopsy, dialysis, chronic kidney disease, or cancer. For kids, there is pediatric nephrologists, who only treat children.
#23 NeurologistA neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases that affect the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and the neurons). For instance, people who are dealing with problems with their senses may also consult a neurologist because such problems may be sometimes caused by disorders in the system. A Clinical Neurophysiologist is a specialized with neurology who diagnoses any problem dealing with the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system with the aid of electrophysiological tests.
#24 NeurosurgeonAlthough they also deal with the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders like what neurologists do, neurosurgeons are licensed to operate and perform surgeries on the patient’s brain.
#25 Nuclear Medicine SpecialistNuclear medicine specialists are trained medical doctors who administer radioactive medicines for diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions that include bone scans, lung perfusion scans, & HIDA scans for gallbladder function, etc.
#26 Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN)Commonly abbreviated as OB/GYN, an obstetrician/gynecologist is a combination of two doctors rolled into one. An obstetrician is a doctor trained in managing pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. On the other hand, a gynecologist is a doctor specialized in the female reproductive system. Primatologist is a specialized doctor within OBGYN who treats patients with high risk pregnancy.
#27 OncologistComing from the Greek word “onkos” which means “tumor” or “mass”, oncology is the branch of science that deals with cancers. Hence, oncologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. There are 4 major sub-divisions within Oncologist profession namely: medical oncologist (chemotherapy or medications), surgical oncologist (surgical treatment of variety of tumors), radiation oncologist (megavoltage X-rays or radionuclides) and pediatric oncologist (physician specialized in children cancer).
#28 OphthalmologistUnlike optometrists, who are also “eye doctors”, ophthalmologists can perform surgeries in the eyes. And because they can perform operations on the eyes, they are considered as both medical and surgical specialists.
#29 Orthopedic Surgeon / OrthopedistOrthopedic surgeons (aka Orthopedist) are doctors specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and operate patients with diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system (which includes the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and the nerves).
#30 Otolaryngologist (also ENT Specialist)An otolaryngologist is a type of physician who specializes in managing and treating patients with various disorders of the Ear, Nose, and Throat. In addition to that, they also diagnose diseases that affect related structures like the head and neck.
#31 ParasitologistParasitologists deal with parasites (microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, worms, and insects) that could either live temporarily or permanently, on or inside the human body.
#32 PathologistPathologist is a trained medical doctor who performs autopsies in the examination of tissue (such as mole) and blood samples to diagnose a disease and produces pathological report. Pale pathologist is a doctor that studies ancient diseases.
#33 PerinatologistA perinatologist is a specialized doctor concerned with the care of the fetus and complicated, high-risk pregnancies. Perinatology sometimes referred as maternal-fetal medicine.
#34 PeriodontistA periodontist is a doctor who specializes on oral health care. In addition, a periodontist can also diagnose and treat periodontal disease (gum disease), and is involved in the placement of dental implants.
#35 PediatricianA pediatrician is involved in the management of the physical, emotional, and mental health of their young patients. Pediatricians focus on infants, children, teenagers, and young adults (up to 21 years old).
#36 Plastic SurgeonPlastic surgeons are specialized medical doctors in surgery that improves a person’s outlook such as surgery for a birth defect (e.g, cleft palate), or surgery following an injury or the removal of cancer, such as breast implant surgery after breast removal (mastectomy).
#37 PsychiatristUnlike typical physicians who spend most of their time in the medical field, psychiatrists tend to occupy a more frequent place in the research field. This is because instead of examining the physical attribute of a person, a psychiatrist studies and tries to interpret his/her patient’s behavior and cognitive process.
#38 PulmonologistA pulmonologist is a medical professional whose expertise falls on pulmonary (lungs) and other respiratory tract illnesses and diseases. These type of doctors have a wide scope of specialization as they can treat almost everything from asthma to tuberculosis.
#39 RadiologistA radiologist is a medical professional specifically trained to diagnose and treat their patients by interpreting test results from medical imaging techniques. Such techniques include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan, and positron emission tomography (PET).
#40 RheumatologistA rheumatologist is a pediatrician, who specialized in in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and systemic auto-immune conditions commonly referred to as rheumatic diseases.
#41 Sleep Doctor / Sleep Disorders SpecialistA sleep doctor is a medical doctor specialized in diagnosis & treatment of sleep related disorders as such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
#42 Spinal Cord Injury SpecialistSpinal cord injury specialists are rehabilitation medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of people with spinal cord injuries.
#43 Sports Medicine SpecialistSports medicine specialists are trained medical doctors in the treatment of people who have injuries to their bones, muscles, joints, tendons, or ligaments that result from physical activity (such as Sports). The injuries include cartilage tears, ligament ruptures of the knee, and shoulder, knee or wrist problems.
#44 SurgeonA surgeon is a physician trained in performing operations that involve the treatment of injuries, removing infected body parts, and the reconstruction of missing or damaged tissues or organs.
#45 Thoracic SurgeonThoracic Surgeon is specialized in chest, heart, and lung surgeries. Thoracic surgeons may further specialize in one area, such as heart surgery or lung surgery, or in a sub-specialty of that area, such as coronary artery bypass surgery.
#46 UrologistUrologists are basically doctors who specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect the male and female urinary tract. In addition to that, urologists are also knowledgeable in treating patients with prostate cancer, and other disease that affect sexual health and fertility.
#47 Vascular SurgeonVascular surgeons are medical physicians who specialize in the diagnosis, medical management, and surgical treatment of diseases with the blood vessels (vascular diseases).
#48 VeterinarianWhile all other doctors are responsible for treating humans, the veterinarians are responsible for the treatment of sick animals.
Other Types of Doctors / Health Professionals (Non-Medical)
#1 AudiologistAn audiologist specializes in the study of hearing, balance, and other auditory disorders. Basically audiologists provide a professional patient-centered care in order to minimize the adverse impacts of these disorders not only to the physical, mental, social, and psychological but also overall well-being of the person.
#2 ChiropractorA chiropractor specializes on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Unlike regular neurologists or neurosurgeons, chiropractors treat patients through manual manipulation and adjustment of the spine.
#3 DiagnosticianA Diagnostician is also referred as medical diagostician who studies the medical symptoms and reports of patients to diagnose the disease.
#4 MicrobiologistMicrobiologists are scientists or clinicians who study the growth of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their interactions with the human body. This is in order to examine which could possibly harm the body and determine the proper treatment for the disease.
#5 Palliative care specialistA palliative medicine is sub-speciality which relieves suffering and inprove the quality of life for patients with chronic, curable or life-threatening diseases.
#6 PharmacistAlthough a pharmacist is not a medical doctor however a health care professional who practices pharmacy, a branch of health sciences specializing in safe and effective medication use. Within this, there are several different career options such as Retail Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy, Long-term care, Nuclear pharmacy, Home infusion & chemotherapy, pharmaceutical benefit management and non-clinical pharmacy careers (Examples: Medical sales, Medical writing or Regulatory affairs).
#7 PhysiotherapistA Physiotherapist helps people affected by injury, illness or disability through massage, heat treatment, stretch exercises, education and advice rather than drugs or surgery. Also they help patients to manage pain and prevent diseases.
#8 Podiatrist / ChiropodistA podiatrist (aka Chiropodist) is a medical doctor devoted to diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. The term podiatry came into existence only in the last century in USA and now it is widely used in UK and Australia.
Indeed, whether they do work in their own clinics, in public hospitals, or even in communities, doctors aim to help keep people in the best of their well-being. But the list above just only goes to show how vast the scope of the field of medicine is.
So if you are considering of becoming doctor, have you already decided which area would you like to study or specialize in?
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