Breakdown Of The Most Common Medical Specialities
The medical field is one of the most demanding and competitive fields. And with that, there are tons of doctors practicing all around the world. Just in the United States, about one million doctors are practicing. Imagine how many doctors there are in the world! However, becoming a doctor is not a simple task.
It takes years of hard studying to become a doctor. For example, just to become an intern, a person has to attend four years of education at an accredited medical school. Thereafter, they have to further undergo three to seven years of residency training. The duration of their residency training depends on the specialty they choose. In this article, we will be going more into specialties and talking more about the top ten most common medical specialties.
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Family Medicine is one of the most common primary care specialties. If you’ve had a doctor that you’ve seen all your life – for colds, fevers, tummy aches, that’s a family doctor. Family doctors see all kinds of patients. They see patients of all ages, genders, and various illnesses. Mostly, a family doctor would treat common ailments and conditions. However, in cases of more serious illnesses, they are also usually the ones who make the first assessments and or subsequent referrals.
Internal medicine doctors are a broad term of doctors that provide basic care to adult patients. These doctors can treat basic illnesses like the flu, to more complex illnesses, like diabetes. If an internal medicine doctor is interested in a specific area of medicine, they can further sub-specialize after their residency. Sub-specializations of internal medicine can include areas like gastroenterology, endocrinology, or cardiology.
Compared to family doctors, internal medicine doctors spend longer training in a hospital setup. Thereafter, most internal medicine doctors work out of an office or the hospital.
Pediatricians specialize in treating patients under the age of eighteen years old. However, some pediatricians do treat patients up to the age of twenty-one. Most pediatricians mainly provide basic health care to their young patients, such as vaccinations, check-ups, physicals, and treatment of common illnesses. Some pediatricians also further specialize in their field to treat more serious illnesses.
Obstetrics & Gynecology
A gynecologist is someone who specializes in women’s healthcare, this includes care for reproductive, hormonal, and menopausal issues. An obstetrician, on the other hand, specializes in providing care for pregnant women and then later, delivering their baby. Most obstetricians also specialize as gynecologists, in these cases, they are known as OB/GYN.
Surgeons are doctors trained in surgery. Surgeons can specialize in specific fields, such as pediatric, trauma, vascular, or many others. At the same time, however, surgeons can also be trained in doing general surgery. Surgeons primarily work in the operating room and perform surgical procedures. Depending on the patient, the surgery can be either planned or happening due to an emergency. Post-operation, the surgeon is also involved in caring for the patient and ensuring that no complications arise from the surgery. If any complications occur, the surgeon is in charge of treating it.
A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in treating mental health issues. Through assessments, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, medication, and even hospitalization, psychiatrists assess and treat patients with mental health issues. Just as with other specializations, there are further specializations within psychiatry. Some psychiatrists prefer to work with children and others prefer to work with adults. Alternatively, psychiatrists may choose to work with specific disorders, such as eating disorders, depression, or anxiety.
A cardiologist is an internal medicine doctor that specializes in the field of cardiology. Cardiologists are primarily interested in the heart and its blood vessels. Therefore, cardiologists are the ones who provide treatment and care for heart failure, cardiovascular disease, heart trauma, and all other heart-related issues.
To be a cardiologist is difficult. It is one of the more competitive specializations. An internal medicine resident would need to train for an additional three years to become a cardiologist.
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treatments to do with the skin. This can include the treatment of skin diseases and injuries, as well as procedures involving elective and aesthetic skin procedures. Amongst the specialties, dermatology is an exceedingly competitive and popular option. This is because dermatologists are the ones who carry out expensive skin care procedures such as botox and laser. Compared to many other specialties, dermatologists are not required to work as much. Therefore, a dermatologist is often someone who has to work little but earns much.
An otolaryngologist is one who is trained to work and deal with issues relating to the ear, nose, and throat. More commonly, an otolaryngologist is known simply as an ENT. An ENT is involved in the management and treatment of a variety of problems, such as sinus issues, allergies, and head and neck cancers. As such, ENTs often have skills for routine office treatment, as well as, surgical skills in the operating theatre.
Finally, we have oncologists – doctors who treat cancer. Oncology is a further sub-specialization from internal medicine and it can be defined as composed of three areas. These areas are medical, surgical, and radiation oncology. An oncologist seeks to treat a patient’s cancer and also deals with any side effects that cancer or its treatment might cause. As a cure for cancer has not been found, oncologists are often involved in running clinical trials for finding cancer treatments.
Aside from these ten specializations, there are a ton of other medical specializations, such as endocrinology, neurology, anesthesiology, and radiology. And, that’s just to name a few! However, in this article, what we have covered are some of the more popular and interesting medical specialties that doctors tend to get into. If you are interested in a particular specialization, it is always best to search up more information on the specialty. From there, you could find much more information on your area of interest.