The human body is a very complex system that is made up of numerous organs and tissues. Each body contains several major systems, tissues, and vital organs that all work together and contribute to the overall health and well being of the body. We rely upon several different types of doctors to ensure good health and to treat injury, illness, and the diseases that the organs and tissues of the body are susceptible to.
Types of Doctors and Specialties
Doctors are categorized into dozens of medical specialties and subspecialties. These specialties revolve around the specific organs and systems of the body. Medical categories are based on the five major organs and the systems of the body. Specialty doctors typically focus on treating one specific organ or system, while a family practitioner treats the entire body.
Though a family practitioner may treat an entire family, there are types of doctors that specialize in treating children. One of the first doctors a child will ever be treated by is an obstetrician. This is a type of doctor that treats the reproductive organs and deals with pregnancy and child birthing. If pregnancy complications arise an obstetrician may refer the patient to a primatologist. The primatologist handles the treatment of women who are diagnosed with a high risk pregnancy.
A doctor that treats newborns and infants is called a neonatologist and a doctor that sees older children is known as a pediatrician. Many parents prefer to have their children seen by a doctor that is dedicated to treating childhood illnesses and disease versus a family practitioner. Pediatricians also can specialize in specific treatments versus treating the entire body.
When illness or disease is diagnosed by a family practitioner the patient will likely be referred to a specialty doctor for further treatment. If surgical treatment is necessary a patient will then be referred to a specialist surgeon. Each vital organ has a specialty doctor that generally treats just that one organ. Specialty surgeons mostly only operate on one or more organs.
For example, a cardiologist treats the heart and the cardiovascular surgeon operates on it. The lungs are assigned a pulmonologist for treatment, the liver is treated by a hepatologist, and the kidneys are treated by a nephrologist. The brain is treated by a neurologist and is operated on by a neurosurgeon. These are the most common of specialty doctors; however, there are dozens of additional medical doctors and specialist categories.
In addition to specialist doctors that treat specific organs, there are also doctors that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of the entire body as a whole. An internal medicine specialist and the internist are responsible for diagnosing and developing a non-surgical treatment plan when possible. The internist places a priority on the prevention of adult diseases.
Some physicians such as a medical geneticist and the infectious disease specialist study and treat diseases. The infectious disease doctor focuses on diseases that are caused by parasites, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The medical geneticist treats genetic disorders and diseases. An immunologist is another important doctor that studies and treats diseases related to the immune system.
There are also other types of internal specialists, such as an endocrinologist, which treats the endocrine system. The endocrine system is vital to a healthy body because it is responsible for the hormones that tell the organs what to do, and when to do it. Two physicians that treat the organs that control the body’s waste systems are the urologist and the gastroenterologist.
An urologist focuses on the urinary tract system and the gastroenterologist treats the digestive system. There are also specialty doctors and surgeons such as a colorectal surgeon that only treats certain illnesses and diseases. Some of these doctors may only focus on treating one type of disease in a certain part of the body. For example, an oncologist treats cancer, but the thoracic oncologist treats cancers found in the chest, such as the lungs and the esophagus.
A hepatologist is responsible for diagnosing and developing a treatment plan for diseases of the liver. The liver is one of the vital organs that filter the toxins out of the blood. When the liver is under attack from an illness or disease it can lead to severe illness and fatality. The kidneys are another important organ that filters toxins and produces waste.
A nephrologist specializes in diagnosing kidney and renal diseases. Individuals that suffer from kidney problems are often treated with dialysis. Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment that many people can’t live without.
Physicians that treat and study the blood and diseases that pertain to the blood are known as hematologists. An epidemiologist is a doctor that studies and specializes in the treatment of epidemic illnesses. These doctors identify blood and airborne diseases and study methods of eradicating them. The epidemiologist spends a great deal of time studying highly viral conditions, diagnosing new diseases, and viral mutations.
An epidemiologist not only diagnoses and studies disease, he or she is responsible for curing them as well. The microbiologist is another doctor that spends a lot of time studying diseases. A microbiologist studies the cause of infectious diseases that are caused by microbes. This specialist diagnoses and treats microbial based diseases.
Another doctor that studies diseases is the parasitologist. This doctor studies parasitic diseases and the pathology of parasites. Similar to the epidemiologist, the parasitologist is responsible for developing the treatment and cure for parasitic diseases. Doctors that study and develop treatment plans that result in cures are an invaluable asset to all human life. Physicians that study and treat systems of the body are also invaluable to our survival.
The reproductive system is the main reason we are alive, without it humans would cease to exist. The doctors that specialize in the human reproductive system are the obstetrician and gynecologist, which primarily treat the female reproductive system. The male reproductive system is treated by an andrologist. Doctors that treat the reproductive system diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases, as well as enable the reproductive process to be possible for those who struggle to have children.
The clinical neurophysiologist is another important doctor to the human species. This doctor diagnoses and treats issues of the peripheral, central, and autonomic nervous systems. Nervous system problems are diagnosed using electrophysiological tests. Since the nervous system plays an important role on the entire body, the neurophysiologist is considered to be crucial among the different types of doctors.
An allergist is a doctor that plays another vital role in modern medicine. This particular doctor is responsible for diagnosing allergies and conditions such as asthma. The allergist treats a variety of allergies such as food allergies as well as physical allergies such as hay fever. Millions of people suffer from allergies and some allergic reactions have been known to be fatal. Since allergic reactions can mimic other illnesses or diseases, the allergist has to be thorough when investigating and diagnosing conditions.
The ENT specialist is a doctor that treats medical conditions of the ears, nose, and throat. When considering that these organs are part of the sensory system, the ENT specialist is also quite important to our health. A dentist and an orthodontist are doctors that specialize in oral health. Dentists diagnose certain issues of the teeth, gums, and the oral cancers of the mouth, along with providing treatments and routine oral maintenance.
When issues such as gum disease and tooth decay are present a dentist will develop a treatment plan that involves the prevention of tooth loss when possible. If a patient has severe tooth decay that is impossible to repair a dentist may refer the patient to an oral surgeon for surgical extractions. The orthodontist is responsible for treating conditions of the teeth using oral prosthetic devices such as braces and retainers.
Doctors that treat external organs are also vital to our health. An audiologist specializes in treating the ears and any problems we might have with hearing. The audiologist may also help hearing impaired children and adults to communicate. Two other sensory organ specialty doctors are the optometrist and the ophthalmologist. These two doctors diagnose and create treatment plans for the eyes.
The ophthalmologist treats the entire eye, meaning they can do everything from eye exams to surgical treatments on serious eye conditions. An ophthalmologist can also diagnose illnesses of the eyes that are being caused by other issues such as diseases like diabetes and arthritis. Ophthalmologists provide both surgical and non-surgical medical eye care for conditions such as iritis, and glaucoma.
This eye specialty doctor also treats emergency trauma injuries to the eyes such as puncture wounds or chemical burns. The optometrist is not really a doctor; however, they are capable of diagnosing vision problems and developing a vision treatment plan such as prescription lenses and contacts. The optometrist will refer patients suffering from serious vision conditions to an ophthalmologist.
One other important specialty doctor treats an important part of our physical structure that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The skeletal system is invisible but is ever so crucial to everyday life. The orthopedic surgeon is a doctor that treats illness, disease, and injuries that occur in the skeletal system. An orthopedist treats broken bones and conditions of the bones such as osteoporosis.
In addition to the orthopedist and orthopedic surgeon, there are other types of doctors that treat bones. A podiatrist is a fine example; this doctor treats only the bones and tissues of the feet. Another doctor that deals with bones is a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist treats arthritis and joint pain, which can become crippling conditions. A chiropractor is another doctor that treats bones and connective tissues. Many people rely upon routine chiropractic adjustments to treat pain and injuries of their bones and muscles.
The skin is also considered an organ and it too has a specialty doctor known as a dermatologist. A dermatologist treats a vast array of skin conditions ranging from acne to psoriasis and eczema. This specialty doctor may also treat skin appendages such as the nails and hair. In addition to all the above listed specialties there are also doctors like the physiologists that are considered to be life science doctors that specialize in physiology and rehabilitation.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are doctors that specialize in psychology. These doctors use psychoanalysis testing to diagnose mental and emotional issues. A patient may be treated with either therapy or medication and sometimes both. Mental health conditions can stand alone or be the direct cause of illness and disease. For example, an individual suffering from a severe disease or physical trauma might also develop an emotional condition that requires a mental health doctor.
Many of the medical fields have more than just one or two sub specialties, so there are even more types of doctors than what are listed above. Some doctors specialize only in rehabilitative therapeutic treatments that are directly related to specific illness or injuries. Regardless of what a doctor specializes in, each doctor is crucial to our optimum health and well being.
There are a few specialties that are not necessarily required for maintaining good health, but they can contribute to our emotional happiness. Take a plastic surgeon for example; this doctor can alter appearances, which can help people get over negative self-image. Yet, on a different note, this cosmetic miracle worker can also repair damages and scars from injuries, as well as reconstruct breast tissue in breast cancer patients.
In addition to doctors that diagnose and treat patients, there are also doctors that specialize primarily in diagnostic testing. A radiologist is a prime example; this doctor is responsible for diagnosing broken bones, cancers, diseases, and other ailments through the use of imagery testing. This doctor performs tests and sends the diagnostic results to physicians that are physically treating patients.
Other Types of Doctors
Along with traditional medicine there are other types of doctors that practice holistic and other natural medical treatments. These doctors may rely upon the results from a radiologist to determine which course of action to take with a patient. A holistic doctor typically uses a variety of natural medicines, such as herbs and spices, along with nutritional support, and vitamin and mineral substances. These doctors prefer to avoid the pharmaceutical drugs in their treatments. One of the best things about our health is that we have so many different types of doctors to heal us, and we have a choice as to which healing approach we want to take.
How do you become a Doctor?
There are many medical schools to choose from when deciding on pursuing a medical qualification. Many are costly; the American Association of Medical Schools provides a list of the tuition and and fees of first year medical students medical schools tuition and fees.