Medical doctors are an important part of people’s lives. Whenever people get sick or get injured, doctors provide the life-giving treatment to allow healing to take place. Without doctors, the quality of life of modern man suffers.
There are many ways by which doctors treat their patients. The most common ways doctors treat patients is by prescribing medicines, especially for common ailments like colds, flu, or bacterial infection. Many other doctors use modern medical equipment to help them diagnose correctly the sickness of their patients. In the age of information and with then wonders brought about by the internet, other specialist doctors even operate their patients from far afar with the use of robots.
There are different types of doctors. As pointed out earlier, they may prescribe medicine, operate on the affected areas and sew up cuts, or use high tech tools like laser, controlled radiation, among others. There are type of doctors who take care of routine cases like helping bring babies into the world or comfort those people who are sick or dying. Others look into the deep, emotional reasons for human behavior. Other doctors see all types of patients while others do not see patients at all. The latter, for example, just write or conduct research along the medical field.
A Chinese robot surgeon (Image Source)
In the modern world, a patient sometimes finds it difficult to see which type of doctor should be the appropriate one to approach to help them with their condition. There are so many different types of doctors that patients sometimes get confused if they are approaching the right one. This is more so complicated especially in cases where doctors arrive at different diagnoses of the patient’s condition. This is the reason why many patients consult several doctors before deciding to let the doctors do something to them especially when an operation is suggested.
A systematic approach to find the right doctor among the many different types of doctors is to begin with a family physician, family practice or primary care doctor. The family physicians are trained to provide medical care to everyone from pregnant mothers to babies and adults. If they determine that their patients need more specialized care or the condition is not common, they may refer his patients to a specialist.
Some patients would rather go directly to a specialist doctor believing that they know better their bodies and suspect their condition must be attended to outright by a specialist. But what are the different types of doctors and their specialization?
Here is an alphabetical list of the different types of doctors and what they do:
The Different Types of Doctors
Cardiologist is actually a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. The cardiologist focuses on treatment of the heart and blood vessels of the circulatory system.
A dermatologist deals with skin problems.
Endocrinologist is also a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. This doctor treats people endocrine or gland problems. Glands are organs that produce and secrete hormones necessary to control and regulate bodily functions. Patients with thyroid problems and diabetics are treated by endocrinologists.
A gastrologist focuses diagnosis and treatment on the gastric area or the stomach.
Gastroenterologist is also a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. A gastroenterologist deals with digestive system problems.He diagnoses and treats disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and biliary system.
A gynecologist deals with the diseases of the female reproductive system.
7. Infectious Disease Specialist
Infectious Disease is a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. Infectious disease doctors deal with problems like the swine flu, bird flu, as well as HIV/AIDS, among other communicable diseases.
8. Internal Medicine Specialist
Internal medicine specialists diagnoses and treats general medical disorders of adults such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, emphysema, and cancer.
Nephrologists treat kidney diseases and prescribe dialysis for patients whose kidneys fail to function.
Opthalmologists are doctors who treat the eye for medical and surgical problems
Otolaryngologists are also known as otorhinolaryngologists. They are usually referred to as E.N.T.s which means “ Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. These doctors deal treat sinus problems, allergies, head and neck cancers, among others.
Pediatricians are doctors who care for infants up to adolescent patients (usually 18 years old). They do immunizations, school physical exams, among others.
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes on the diagnosis and treatment of the ailments of the foot.
A psychiatrist diagnoses and treats patients with mental disorders.
Pulmonologists are doctors who diagnose and treat problems of the respiratory system, including the lungs.
Rheumatologists deal with treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones.
Surgeons perform surgery which is an invasive form of medical treatment. It involves cutting of a part of the body to remove a diseased organ or to repair a tear or breakage.
Urologists are medical doctors who specialize on the diseases of the urinary tract particularly on the reproductive organs of men.
Being familiar with the different types of doctors will help the patient decide which appropriate doctor he/she should approach to address his/her health problem. This can also be a useful list for those who intend to pursue medicine as a career.