An allergist-immunologist is trained in evaluation, physical and laboratory diagnosis, and management of disorders involving the immune system. Selected examples of such conditions include asthma, anaphylaxis, rhinitis, eczema, and adverse reactions to drugs, foods, and insect stings as well as immune deficiency diseases (both acquired and congenital), defects in host defense, and problems related to autoimmune disease, organ transplantation, or malignancies of the immune system.
An anesthesiologist is trained to provide pain relief and maintenance, or restoration, of a stable condition during and immediately following an operation or an obstetric or diagnostic procedure. The anesthesiologist assesses the risk of the patient undergoing surgery and optimizes the patient's condition prior to, during and after surgery. In addition to these management responsibilities, the anesthesiologist provides medical management and consultation in pain management and critical care medicine. Anesthesiologists diagnose and treat acute, long-standing and cancer pain problems; diagnose and treat patients with critical illnesses or severe injuries; direct resuscitation in the care of patients with cardiac or respiratory emergencies, including the need for artificial ventilation; and supervise post-anesthesia recovery.
Clinical pharmacology encompasses the spectrum of activities related to the discovery, development, regulation, and utilization of safe and effective drugs.
A colon and rectal surgeon is trained to diagnose and treat various diseases of the intestinal tract, colon, rectum, anal canal and perianal area by medical and surgical means. This specialist also deals with other organs and tissues (such as the liver, urinary and female reproductive system) involved with primary intestinal disease.
A dermatologist is trained to diagnose and treat pediatric and adult patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, mouth, external genitalia, hair and nails, as well as a number of sexually transmitted diseases. The dermatologist has had additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, melanomas, moles and other tumors of the skin, the management of contact dermatitis and other allergic and nonallergic skin disorders, and in the recognition of the skin manifestations of systemic (including internal malignancy) and infectious diseases. Dermatologists have special training in dermatopathology and in the surgical techniques used in dermatology. They also have expertise in the management of cosmetic disorders of the skin such as hair loss and scars and the skin changes associated with aging.
Electrodiagnostic medicine is the medical subspecialty that applies neurophysiologic techniques to diagnose, evaluate, and treat patients with impairments of the neurologic, neuromuscular, and/or muscular systems. Qualified physicians are trained in performing electrophysiological testing and interpretation of the test data. They require knowledge in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, histology, and pathology of the brain, spinal cord, autonomic nerves, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction, and muscles. They must know clinical features and treatment of diseases of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, as well as those of neuromuscular junction and muscle. Physicians also require special knowledge about electric signal processing, including waveform analysis, electronics and instrumentation, stimulation and recording equipment, and statistics.
An emergency physician focuses on the immediate decision making and action necessary to prevent death or any further disability both in the pre-hospital setting by directing emergency medical technicians and in the emergency department. The emergency physician provides immediate recognition, evaluation, care, stabilization and disposition of a generally diversified population of adult and pediatric patients in response to acute illness and injury.
Family Medicine is the medical specialty which is concerned with the total health care of the individual and the family. It is the specialty in breadth which integrates the biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences. The scope of family medicine is not limited by age, sex, organ system, or disease entity.
Hospitalists are physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their activities include patient care, teaching, research, and leadership related to Hospital Medicine. The term 'hospitalist' refers to physicians whose practice emphasizes providing care for hospitalized patients.
A special evaluator not involved with the medical care of the individual examinee that impartially evaluates the care being provided by other practitioners to clarify clinical, disability, liability or other case issues.
A physician who provides long-term, comprehensive care in the office and the hospital, managing both common and complex illness of adolescents, adults and the elderly. Internists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, infections and diseases affecting the heart, blood, kidneys, joints and digestive, respiratory and vascular systems. They are also trained in the essentials of primary care internal medicine, which incorporates an understanding of disease prevention, wellness, substance abuse, mental health and effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs.
Legal Medicine is a special field of medicine that focuses on various aspects of medicine and law. Historically, the practice of legal medicine made contributions to medicine as a scientific instrument to solve criminal perplexities. Since World War II, the domain of legal medicine has broadened to include not only aspects of medical science to solve legal and criminal problems but aspects of law as it applies to medicine. Legal Medicine continues to grow as medicolegal issues like medical malpractice and liability, government regulation of health care, issues of tort reform, and moral and ethical complexities presented by technological advances become increasingly prominent. Many medical schools have implemented courses which supply medicolegal instruction for medical students, and many law schools now offer medicolegal courses. Also, dual degree programs in law and medicine have been created to assist physicians to bridge the gap between medicine and the law.
A specialist trained in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for patients with genetically linked diseases. This specialist uses modern cytogenetic, radiologic and biochemical testing to assist in specialized genetic counseling, implement needed therapeutic interventions and provide prevention through prenatal diagnosis. A medical geneticist plans and coordinates large-scale screening programs for inborn errors of metabolism, hemoglobinopathies, chromosome abnormalities and neural tube defects.
A neurological surgeon provides the operative and non-operative management (i.e., prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, critical care, and rehabilitation) of disorders of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their supporting structures and vascular supply; the evaluation and treatment of pathological processes which modify function or activity of the nervous system; and the operative and non-operative management of pain. A neurological surgeon treats patients with disorders of the nervous system; disorders of the brain, meninges, skull, and their blood supply, including the extracranial carotid and vertebral arteries; disorders of the pituitary gland; disorders of the spinal cord, meninges, and vertebral column, including those which may require treatment by spinal fusion or instrumentation; and disorders of the cranial and spinal nerves throughout their distribution.
The discipline of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine directs special attention to the neuromusculoskeletal system and its interaction with other body systems. Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine encompasses increased knowledge and understanding of osteopathic principles and practice and heightened technical skills of osteopathic manipulative medicine, and integrates each of these into the management of pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patients.
A nuclear medicine specialist employs the properties of radioactive atoms and molecules in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and in research. Radiation detection and imaging instrument systems are used to detect disease as it changes the function and metabolism of normal cells, tissues and organs. A wide variety of diseases can be found in this way, usually before the structure of the organ involved by the disease can be seen to be abnormal by any other techniques. Early detection of coronary artery disease (including acute heart attack), early cancer detection and evaluation of the effect of tumor treatment, diagnosis of infection and inflammation anywhere in the body and early detection of blood clot in the lungs are all possible with these techniques. Unique forms of radioactive molecules can attack and kill cancer cells (e.g., lymphoma, thyroid cancer) or can relieve the severe pain of cancer that has spread to bone.
An obstetrician/gynecologist possesses special knowledge, skills and professional capability in the medical and surgical care of the female reproductive system and associated disorders. This physician serves as a consultant to other physicians and as a primary physician for women.
An ophthalmologist has the knowledge and professional skills needed to provide comprehensive eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are medically trained to diagnose, monitor and medically or surgically treat all ocular and visual disorders. This includes problems affecting the eye and its component structures, the eyelids, the orbit and the visual pathways. In so doing, an ophthalmologist prescribes vision services, including glasses and contact lenses.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to recognize and treat a wide spectrum of diseases injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. They are also trained to administer anesthesia, and provide care in an office setting. They are trained to treat problems such as the extraction of wisdom teeth, misaligned jaws, tumors and cysts of the jaw and mouth, and to perform dental implant surgery.
An orthopaedic surgeon is trained in the preservation, investigation and restoration of the form and function of the extremities, spine and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical means. An orthopaedic surgeon is involved with the care of patients whose musculoskeletal problems include congenital deformities, trauma, infections, tumors, metabolic disturbances of the musculoskeletal system, deformities, injuries and degenerative diseases of the spine, hands, feet, knee, hip, shoulder and elbow in children and adults. An orthopaedic surgeon is also concerned with primary and secondary muscular problems and the effects of central or peripheral nervous system lesions of the musculoskeletal system.
An otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for patients with diseases and disorders that affect the ears, nose, throat, the respiratory and upper alimentary systems and related structures of the head and neck. An otolaryngologist diagnoses and provides medical and/or surgical therapy or prevention of diseases, allergies, neoplasms, deformities, disorders and/or injuries of the ears, nose, sinuses, throat, respiratory and upper alimentary systems, face, jaws and the other head and neck systems. Head and neck oncology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and the treatment of disorders of hearing and voice are fundamental areas of expertise.
A pediatrician is concerned with the physical, emotional and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Care encompasses a broad spectrum of health services ranging from preventive healthcare to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. A pediatrician deals with biological, social and environmental influences on the developing child, and with the impact of disease and dysfunction on development.
Phlebology is the medical discipline that involves the diagnosis and treatment of venous disorders, including spider veins, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, venous leg ulcers, congenital venous abnormalities, venous thromboembolism and other disorders of venous origin. A phlebologist has attained a minimum of 50 hours of CME units in phlebology-related courses, and is knowledgeable of and trained in a variety of diagnostic techniques including physical examination, venous imaging techniques such as duplex ultrasound, CT and MR, plethysmographic techniques and laboratory evaluation related to venous thromboembolism. The phlebologist is also trained in a variety of therapeutic interventions, which may include compression, sclerotherapy, cutaneous vascular laser, endovenous thermoablation procedures (laser and radiofrequency) endovenous chemical ablation, surgical procedures (e.g., ambulatory phlebectomy, venous ligation), vasoactive medications and the management of venous thromboembolism.
Physical medicine and rehabilitation, also referred to as rehabilitation medicine, is the medical specialty concerned with diagnosing, evaluating, and treating patients with physical disabilities. These disabilities may arise from conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system such as neck and back pain, sports injuries, or other painful conditions affecting the limbs, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Alternatively, the disabilities may result from neurological trauma or disease such as spinal cord injury, head injury or stroke. A physician certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation is often called a physiatrist. The primary goal of the physiatrist is to achieve maximal restoration of physical, psychological, social and vocational function through comprehensive rehabilitation. Pain management is often an important part of the role of the physiatrist. For diagnosis and evaluation, a physiatrist may include the techniques of electromyography to supplement the standard history, physical, x-ray and laboratory examinations. The physiatrist has expertise in the appropriate use of therapeutic exercise, prosthetics (artificial limbs), orthotics and mechanical and electrical devices.
A plastic surgeon deals with the repair, reconstruction or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniomaxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk and external genitalia or cosmetic enhancement of these areas of the body. Cosmetic surgery is an essential component of plastic surgery. The plastic surgeon uses cosmetic surgical principles to both improve overall appearance and to optimize the outcome of reconstructive procedures. The surgeon uses aesthetic surgical principles not only to improve undesirable qualities of normal structures but in all reconstructive procedures as well.
A general surgeon has expertise related to the diagnosis - preoperative, operative and postoperative management - and management of complications of surgical conditions in the following areas: alimentary tract; abdomen; breast, skin and soft tissue; endocrine system; head and neck surgery; pediatric surgery; surgical critical care; surgical oncology; trauma and burns; and vascular surgery. General surgeons increasingly provide care through the use of minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques. Many general surgeons also possess expertise in transplantation surgery, plastic surgery and cardiothoracic surgery.
A thoracic surgeon provides the operative, perioperative and critical care of patients with pathologic conditions within the chest. Included is the surgical care of coronary artery disease, cancers of the lung, esophagus and chest wall, abnormalities of the trachea, abnormalities of the great vessels and heart valves, congenital anomalies, tumors of the mediastinum and diseases of the diaphragm. The management of the airway and injuries of the chest is within the scope of the specialty.
A urologist manages benign and malignant medical and surgical disorders of the genitourinary system and the adrenal gland. This specialist has comprehensive knowledge of and skills in endoscopic, percutaneous and open surgery of congenital and acquired conditions of the urinary and reproductive systems and their contiguous structures.