Types of Doctors: Do you know when the doctor’s day is celebrated in India? It is on July 1 every year. This day is celebrated as a doctor’s day because a legendary physician Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was born.
In this post, we discuss doctor types, and some frequently asked questions. So, let’s start the topic.
Who is a Doctor?
A doctor means any person who is able or well qualified to treat other people who are ill. In addition, the term doctor is derived from the Latin word “docere” which means “to teach”.
However, the first historical doctor was recorded as Hippocrates (460 – 370 BCE). And at that time, it was a rare profession. But in the academic world, the doctor refers to someone who has a doctoral degree from a reputed university.
Degree Required to Become a Doctor
To become a doctor, you should have the following degrees:
- Four years to obtain a bachelor’s degree from medical school
- Two years to obtain a medical degree or MD
- Another 3 to 7 additional years of residency training before obtaining any license to practice medicine or surgery.
However, doctors must obtain a state license where they practice.
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Difference Between Doctor vs Physician
- The main difference between doctor and physician is that not all doctors are physicians, but all physicians are doctors.
- Doctors are the people who have completed doctoral programs in medical schools. On the other hand, the physician applies only to those who completed their doctorate in the practice of medicine.
- Doctors use surgery and more extensive medical procedures whereas physicians use pills and drugs to make their patients feel well.
Types of Doctors
There are a total of 21 types of doctors that we are going to discuss in this post. All types of doctors are listed below, are categorized based on their specialization.
Allergist or Immunologist
Allergist/Immunologists is a medical practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies and diseases of the immune system, such as asthma and immunologic disorders including primary immunodeficiency disorders.
In addition, you may also require an allergist/immunologist in case of any autoimmune disease, like celiac disease. However, at least an additional nine years of training required after getting a bachelor’s degree in the United States of America.
One of the most common types of doctors is a dermatologist. He/she is a medical practitioner who is well qualified or able to diagnose and treat many skin disorders. However, the term “dermatology” derives from the Greek word “dermatos” which means skin.
The dermatologists treat many skin diseases such as eczema, skin cancer, acne, and psoriasis. There are various types of dermatologists which include cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, and teledermatology, and many other types of dermatology.
The word “ophthalmology” is derived from the Greek words “ophthalmos”. It means eye and logos. But the exact meaning of ophthalmology is “The science of eyes.”
However, the term Ophthalmologists means a specialist who is able to treat disorders and diseases of the eye such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataract. Moreover, it can also perform heart and eye surgery.
A gynecologist is one of the types of doctors who are well qualified to practice in gynecology. Its main aim is to provide preventive care techniques or how to manage the disease for female health conditions.
It includes various cancer prevention tips and diagnosis in female reproductive organs, breast care, infertility, menopause, etc.
A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of heart diseases and heart abnormalities. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and heart rhythm problems.
A cardiologist also requires training to perform many tests and procedures. However, the specialists can’t do any heart surgery.
An endocrinologist is a specialist who treats disorders that affect the endocrine system. It contains various glands that release various types of hormones in the body.
Therefore, they treat the hormone-related conditions or diseases such as growth problems in children, hormone imbalances, adrenal gland conditions, and infertility, etc. But some endocrinologists focus on only one type of hormone-related problem.
Gastroenterologists are a doctor who focuses on the treatment of the digestive system. It includes the stomach, esophagus, liver, colon, pancreas, small intestine, and gallbladder.
Apart from these conditions, symptoms such as heartburn, stomach pain, and diarrhea may send you to the gastroenterologist. Moreover, gastroenterologists can also perform procedures such as sigmoidoscopy and endoscopy.
A nephrologist is a specialist that focuses on kidney care and disease. It deals with acute and chronic conditions of the kidneys. Kidney disease, kidney stones, hypertension, and kidney failure are the various conditions that a nephrologist can treat.
A urologist is a person who specializes in the treatment and the functioning of the urinary tract in males as well as in females.
In addition, they also focus on male reproductive health. If you have some symptoms such as excessive urinating it may be a urinary disease, then you must refer you to a urologist.
Pulmonologists focus on the treatment of respiratory organs which include the lungs, respiratory muscles, and heart. If you have symptoms or any respiratory problems like COPD or sleep apnea, then you must consult with a pulmonologist. Moreover, they normally work in the health care center or in the hospital to provide ventilators support to serious illness.
They are also known as ENTs. ENT means Ear, Nose, and Throat test. An otolaryngologist may treat problems with the tonsils, mouth, head, and, throat, neck sinuses, and ears. However, some of the doctors go on additional training to specialize only in one area, which refers to the nose and sinuses.
A neurologist usually focuses on the function and complications of the nervous systems. People usually visit neurologists only when they are suffering from worsening diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, and stroke. Additionally, neurologists also require training in internal medicine or pediatrics.
A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner who is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions. They usually prefer to use medication, counseling, and many times hospitalization for the treatment.
As psychiatrists prefer to work with different ages and on different illnesses. That’s why some of the psychiatrists choose a specific age group for further training such as adolescent mental health.
Oncologists are the doctors that can prevent, diagnose, and treat tumors or cancer and its symptoms. During the treatment of cancer, there are various team members but an oncologist is the supervisor of that team.
However, there is a wide range of oncologists, who specialize in different types of cancer. Some cancer care professionals have specific training in certain types of cancer, cancer-related health problems, and certain areas of the body.
A rheumatologist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats rheumatic diseases such as joints, muscles, and bones. People consult a rheumatologist because they usually focus on the root of the problem, and the body’s movement related to joints and bones.
In general, the majority of people book an appointment with a rheumatologist to cure arthritis. Some other common rheumatic diseases are osteoarthritis, lupus, gout, and scleroderma.
Anesthesiologists are the doctors who practice anesthesia and other pain managers. But, their main purpose is to focus on the health of an individual pre, during, or post-surgery while giving sedatives. It may include overseeing pain medications, and to manage them during surgeries.
Anesthesiologists also examine a person’s vessels during the surgery to ensure that the body’s vitals are stable. They also work after the surgery to ensure that the pain of the person is bearable.
A Podiatrist is a specialist or a person who treats the feet and the lower limbs. They usually treat pain and injuries or to keep the people active and pain-free. The common issues which a podiatrist treat are bunions, calluses, ingrown toenails, and corns. They also help in minimizing the pain and inflammation from old issues or injuries.
The primary function of a surgeon is to perform surgery. They create a surgical plan after analyzing patient health and history. Altogether, it eases the recovery of the patient after the surgery.
You may see a surgeon for a variety of reasons. As we all know surgeries are scheduled in advance. But many times, surgery can be an emergency surgery.
There are various surgeons who specialize in many areas of medicine such as cardiac surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, and emergency surgeons.
Pediatricians are the doctor who specializes in treating conditions related to children and their diseases. In some cases, they are also helpful in treating conditions of teenagers and adults whose age is below 21.
Pediatricians usually check the overall health and development of babies and children. They give vaccines and maintain a record of a child’s growth which includes at what rate the child is growing, as well as and when a child is sick.
All emergency physicians are trained as a physician or medical specialist. An emergency physician is a physician who cares for ill patients and works under the emergency department. Based on that, the physician diagnoses and prescribes treatment. After that, they decide whether a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital or not.
In some countries, the physician works in the hospital, but in the United States of America, the emergency physician often works on air ambulance and in the mobile ICU (Intensive care unit). However, an emergency physician is also known as “Jack of all trades”.
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Radiologists are a specialist person who uses X-rays or other high-energy radiations that are used to diagnose and treat illnesses. Radiologists decide what tests to run before giving any review. They specialize in interventional or diagnostic radiology.
However, many times radiologists often work for other care providers. For example, if you came into the emergency room with a head injury, you would see an emergency doctor, a radiologist, and other possible doctors. It usually depends upon the type of injury.
With this, our list of various types of doctors ended here. Now, the following are a few frequently asked questions that people constantly searching on google.
What types of doctors should I see for eczema-like diseases?
Ans. You must visit a dermatologist if you are suffering from eczema or other skin related conditions and diseases.
What doctor should you visit when you suffering from Alzheimer’s disease?
Ans. You should visit the neurologists.
Which specialist treats the feet and the lower limb pain?
Ans. Podiatrists specialize in the treatment of feet and lower limb pain.