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Family Medicine Physician or General Practitioner (GP)
Intenal Medicine (IM)
Pediatrics
Neonatologist
​ Emergency Medicine
Cardiologist (Cards)
Infectious Diseases (ID)
Nephrology
Hematology (Heme)
Oncology (Onc)
Rheumatology
Dermatology (Derm)
Gastroenterology (GI)
Pulmonary and Critical Care
Endocrinology (Endo)
Neurology (Neuro)

Family Medicine Physician or General Practitioner (GP) - This doctor takes care of patients from birth to old age.  Pain manage chronic conditions usually in the outpatient setting as well as acute low acuity issues.  They are able to order blood test, imaging and refer to appropriate specialists if needed.

  • They can see patients in hospital on acute care wards or clinic .

  • Common procedures include skin biopsy, incision and drainage, delivering a baby, suturing lacerations, facetectomies, IUD placement.  Summer trained in colonoscopies, endoscopy or colposcopy.  They are also able to perform routine gynecologic screening and Pap smears.

  • Training:  4 years of undergraduate bachelor's degree, 4 years medical school, 3 years in a family medicine residency.  Some go on to fellowship where they study geriatrics or Women's Health for example.

  • For further reading you can go to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

 

Internal Medicine Physician (Internist, IM) -  This doctor is trained to take care of adult with multiple medical conditions.

  • Often they are clinic based physicians or they can also around in the hospital on acute inpatient.  They can also deliver care of patient in the intensive care unit.

  • Common procedures include skin biopsy, irrigation and drainage, thoracentesis, paracentesis, central line placement, lumbar puncture, arterial puncture, NG-tube placement, Foley catheter placement, endotracheal intubation.

  • Training:  4 years of undergraduate bachelor's degree, 4 years of medical school followed by 3-4 years of internal medicine residency.  Some go on to specialized further in a specific field of study listed below.

  • For further reading you can go to the America Collage of Physicians (ACP).

American Medical Association (AMA).

Pediatrician (Peds) – The doctor for the infants, children and teenagers.  They give vaccines, evaluate that the children are growing appropriately, monitor for any behavioral issues or developmental issues.

  • They practice in the hospital and in the clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelor program, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of pediatric residency.

  • Subspecialty training in neonatology, pediatric Cardiology, Adolescent Medicine, child abuse and pediatric surgery can be done in a fellowship program for several more years.

  • For further reading you can go to the America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Neonatologist – Neonatologists work mostly in hospital neonatal intensive care units.  This is a special type of newborn nursery that provides 24 hour care to premature or sick babies. 

  • They work in the hospital in the intensive care unit and in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelor degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of pediatric or Medicine-pediatric (Med-Peds) residency.  Then 3 year fellowship in a neonatal-perinatal medicine program.

  • For further reading you can go to the America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Emergency Medicine - This is the doctor you see in the emergency room.  They are specially trained in many procedures such as intubation, shoulder reduction, central line placement, lumbar puncture, sutures, setting fractures, drainage of abscesses, and many other treatments.  They are also the first doctor to recognize sepsis and start on appropriate therapy.  They can save you from your heart attack or stroke by giving you clot busters called TPA. They decide whether you go home or stay in the hospital.

  • They work only in the emergency room

  • Training: 4 years undergraduate bachelor's degree, 3-4 years of emergency medicine residency

  • Subspecialty available in disaster Medicine, ultrasound, pre-hospital, toxicology, pediatric Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine, Critical Care

  • For further reading you can go to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Cardiologist (Cards) – The doctor of the heart.  They treat chronic conditions such as heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diseases of your heart valves, arrhythmias, high blood pressure and many more things.  They are able to be trained to put stents in your heart.  They read echocardiogram and EKG’s, loop recorder, pacemakers.

  • They work in the hospital, in the intensive care unit and in the clinic

  • Training:  4 years of undergraduate bachelor's degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship in Cardiology for another 3 years.

  • Subspecialties are available in Interventional Cardiology, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, advanced cardiac imaging, structural heart and valve interventional, advanced heart failure with transplant Cardiology and adult Congenital heart Disease

  • For further reading you can go to the American College of Cardiology (ACC)

Infectious Diseases (ID) – The doctors to the doctors are often the infectious disease specialist.  They treat HIV, hepatitis-C, hepatitis-B, bone infections, joint infections, sexually transmitted diseases, multidrug resistant bacteria.  They no antibiotics very well so that they can give you the antibiotic the most specific and best studied to give the best outcome for the bacteria that you have.  They are the protectors of the antibiotics so that we will have antibiotics to be used in the future.  Often sent consultations on fevers of unknown origin, general fatigue, infections in people who have been traveling to 3rd world countries or a puzzling case that no other physician can seem to pin down a diagnosis.

  • They work in the clinic and in the hospital on the floors and in the intensive care unit

  • Training:  4 years of undergraduate bachelor's degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of Internal Medicine and then a fellowship of 2-3 years in Infectious diseases.

  • Subspecialty available in Transplant medicine, HIV, Tropical Medicine, Malaria, Public Health, pediatric Infectious diseases, tuberculosis.

  • For further reading you can go to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA)

Nephrology - The kidney doctors. These specialists take care of protecting kidney function. They
also understand the acid-base balance of the body very well because the kidneys help regulate
acid-base (pH). Patients with kidney failure often have difficult to control blood pressure, so
nephrologists are well-versed in manipulating blood pressure medications. When kidneys fail
altogether, they start the patient on hemodialysis.

  • They can be seen in the hospital, in the clinic and at Hemodialysis centers.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 2-4 years in Nephrology.

  • Subspecialties include Critical Care Nephrology, kidney dialysis, Interventional Nephrology,

      Onconephrology (cancer) , Pediatric Nephrology and kidney transplantation.


Hematology (Heme) – The blood doctors. Often hematologist specialize also in Oncology,
known as Heme/Onc. They can help work up blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma.
Anemia, low platelets are very high platelets. They love looking at blood smears under the
microscope.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 2-4 years in hematology and oncology.

  • Subspecialty can be done in adult Hematology, pediatric Hematology or Oncology or

      pathology.


Oncology (Onc) – The cancer doctors. Not the doctor you ever want to see, but you will be
happy when the cure you of your cancer. Some oncologists perform bone marrow biopsies.
Some go on to learn how to treat with radiation. They often have to go to multi-disciplinary
team meetings called “Tumor Board” to discuss complex cases with the surgeon, the radiation
oncologist, pathologist etc..

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 2-3 years in Hematology-Oncology.

  • Subspecialty these are available in specific sites of cancer such as neuro (brain and spinal cord),

      hemato (blood) or uro (prostate, for example), gyne (female organs), radiation oncology.

      American Cancer Society for patient related information (ACS).


Rheumatology - the arthritis doctor. This is the doctor that take care of condition such as
rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. They sometimes can aspirate a
joint for fluid such as the knee in clinic. They like to use ultrasounds to look at the joint spaces
in the clinic.

  • They can be seen working in clinic. It would be a rare event to see them in the hospital.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 2-3 years in Rheumatology.


Dermatology (Derm) – The skin doctor. They specialize in disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
They do preventative skin exams to look for cancers. This is one of the hardest specialties to get
a spot in to train, as it has the best lifestyle. No on-call required.

  • They can be seen working in clinic. I have seen a dermatologist a few times in the hospital.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      residency in Dermatology.

  • Subspecialties through fellowship can be done in pathology related fields. Surgical (Mohs

      Surgery) , hematopathology, cytopathology molecular pathology. Pediatrics.


Gastroenterology (GI) – The doctor of the stomach and bowels. They can work you up and treat
you for disorders of the stomach such as peptic ulcers or reflux. They treat diseases of the
bowel such as Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Also liver disease such as cirrhosis. They are able to preform upper and lower GI scopes. This is called endoscopy, EGD and colonoscopy.

  • They can be seen in the hospital, the endoscopy suite and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 3 years in Gastroenterology.

  • Subspecialties can be done in Hepatology (liver), advanced endoscopy, esophagus, neuro-

      gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


Pulmonary and Critical Care – The lung doctors. Often seen in the critical care unit adjusting
ventilator settings, commonly known as life support. They take care of the sickest patient is in
the hospital in the intensive care unit. They know how to keep your blood pressure elevated
through intravenous drips of adrenaline and how to keep your lungs working on a machine.

They also treat patients in the clinic who might need chronic oxygen for COPD. They treat
asthma, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis. They are able to perform bronchoscopy to get good
samples from deep in the lung to make a diagnosis. They are very good with their hands in that
they are able to place arterial lines, central lines, breathing tubes.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 3 years in Pulmonary Critical Care.

  • Subspecialties can be done in cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, interventional

      pulmonology, lung transplant, pulmonary hypertension, sleep disorders, obstructive lung
      disorders.

      The American Lung Association (ALA)
      The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)


Endocrinology (Endo) – The hormone doctor. They specialize in disorders of all of her hormones
such as thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol to name a few. They manage diabetes.

  • They can be seen working in clinic. I have not seen Endocrinology in a hospital on round since

      my residency training.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of

      Internal Medicine residency and then a fellowship of 2-3 years in Endocrinology.

  • Subspecialties can be completed in reproductive, pediatric, thyroid, neuro endocrinology,

      nuclear Medicine, Oncology, diabetes and gender reassignment.


Neurology (Neuro) – The brain doctor. They specialize in seizure, stroke, multiple sclerosis,
Parkinsons disease and disorders of the peripheral nerves and muscles. This is the doctor you
see for hard to control migraine. They like to order CT scans and MRIs of the brain.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of

      internship of general internal medicine then 3 years Neurology residency.

  • Subspecialty training can be done in Pediatrics, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, oncology, neuro

      critical care, neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson's with movement disorders, vascular
      neurology.


Urology – The bladder doctors. Urologists treat conditions in the urinary tract and the
reproductive system. They also take care of prostate issues, kidney cancers. In the hospital they
are the ones to put a stent in the ureter if the kidney is blocked. They also can blast apart
kidney stones.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 2 years of

      General Surgery residency followed by 3-4 years of Urology training.

  • Subspecialties within the field of Urology include pediatric, oncology, transplant, male

      infertility, stones, gynecology and neurourology. Trauma, Reconstructive Urology and female
      urology.


General Surgery - These are the surgeons that take your appendix or your gallbladder. They can
do biopsies, drain abscesses, reconstructive bowel after a perforation, hernia repair to name a
few things. There is always a general surgeon on-call at every hospital.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, then 3-7 years

      of surgical residency.

  • Subspecialists available in colorectal, minimally invasive, oncology, endocrine, breast,

      transplant, vascular, pediatric, liver, plastic, burn, acute care, Surgical critical Care, trauma,
      cardiac, thoracic.


Neurosurgery - They perform surgery on your nervous system. The brain or spinal cord most
commonly. If you have a stroke that causes bleeding on your brain sometimes neurosurgery will
help relieve pressure on your brain by doing a surgical procedure. They can also relieve
pressure on the spinal cord if there is an abscess or a bone putting pressure and causing
symptoms. Not all hospitals have a neurosurgeon.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of

      general surgery and a minimum of 6 years of residency in Neurosurgery.

  • Subspecialty training can then be done for minimally invasive approaches, spinal deformity,

      oncology, trauma, degenerative disease, congenital abnormalities, Neuro-Oncology, pediatrics,
      cerebrovascular, epilepsy, functional neurosurgery.


Cardiothoracic Surgery – Some specialize only on the heart and some specialize only on the
thorax which is the part of your body underneath your ribs. Some surgeons do both. This is the
surgeon that will do the heart bypass.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, for years of

      General surgery and then 3 years of Cardiothoracic surgery.

  • Subspecialty training can be done in redo sternotomy, myocardial revascularization, minimally

      invasive then robotic surgery, heart transplant, conduit dissection, critical Care, atrial fibrillation,

      transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), congenital heart procedures, lung transplant,
      ECMO, cardiac bypass, LVAD placement.


Orthopedics (Ortho) – The bone doctors. These do the doctors that can repair your broken leg
and replace you joints with prostheses. They also are able to treat ligaments, tendons and
muscles. They can help with back pain or hip pain.

  • They can be seen in the hospital and working in clinic.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of

      orthopedic surgery residency.

  • Subspecialties include sports medicine, hand surgery, pediatrics, spine surgery, foot and ankle,

      joint replacement and Trauma surgery.


Radiologist - these should the doctors that read the x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Some of them
specialize in Interventional Radiology where they are able to do biopsies were placed drains into
infected fluid.

  • They can be seen in a dark small room in the radiology department of a hospital.

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of

residency in Radiology training.

  • Fellowship for subspecialty can be done in breast, Cardiothoracic, Interventional

neuroradiology, musculoskeletal imaging and nuclear medicine, PET-CT.


Pathologist - These are the doctors you see on the television shows performing autopsy. They
steady body fluids, tissues and organs directly from the body. They can look at a biopsy (tissue
sample) when a surgeon is in the OR with the patient to see if there is any active cancer that
would direct the surgeon to remove a cancerous organ. They are crucial part of the team to
make a diagnosis.

  • They work in the hospital with a microscope they may or may not nave named 😉

  • Training: 4 year undergraduate degree than 4 years of medical school then a 4 year combined

training in anatomic and clinical pathology residency.

  • Subspecialties for an additional 1-2 years can be done in medical microbiology,

      immunopathology, hematology, forensic pathology, pediatric pathology, neuro pathology,
      chemical pathology, transfusion Medicine and cytopathology.


Anesthesiology – These are the doctors that put you to sleep for surgery. 😴 Some specialize in
pain management in an outpatient clinic. They give the epidural when you go into labor.

  • They work in a clinic if they are pain doctor, the OR in the hospital or at surgical

      centers.

  • Training: 4 years undergraduate degree, 4 years medical school, then a specific for your

      anesthesiology residency program.

  • Subspecialties can include pain management, cardiac anesthesia, Critical Care Medicine,

      obstetric anesthesia, neuro anesthesia or pediatric anesthesia.


Psychiatry - Well-known to people in America, this is the doctor that treats mental health and
substance abuse disorders. They prescribed treatments or therapies and can prescribe
medications. Some also do counseling.
Psychologists are not medical doctors. This profession focuses on one-to-one treatment
sessions. They can not prescribe medication.

  • Psychiatrist can work in specialized psychiatry hospitals, in acute care hospitals and in the clinic

  • Training: 4 years of undergraduate training, 4 years of medical school. Then a 4 year specific

residency in Psychiatry including 1 year of internship in the hospital.

Allergist and Immunologist - Very important doctors at diagnose inherited immunodeficiencies
such as common variable immunodeficiency which leads to repeated infections. They also treat
food or seasonal allergies, penicillin allergies. They can treat autoimmune disease. They can
test for environmental allergies. They can treat asthma.

  • They treat patients in the clinic.

  • Training: After 4 years of undergraduate studies, then 4 years of medical school, they then go

      to resident see in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine or combined Med-Peds. This is 3-4 years of
      training. Then they go into a fellowship of 2-3 additional years specifically in Allergy and
      immunology.

      Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

Otolaryngologist – Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) - If you had to have tubes in her ears as a child
then you know the ENT surgeon. Other disorders including dizziness, hearing loss, chronic ear
infection, sleep apnea, chronic tonsillitis or sore throats. Ringing in the ears.

  • They are often found in the hospital and in the clinic.

  • Training: 4 years undergraduate study, 4 years medical school, then directly into 5 years

      training in ENT, residency.

  • Subspecialties within ENT include laryngology, rhinology, facial plastics, sleep, head and neck,

      neurotology and pediatrics.


Podiatry - These are the foot doctors. They achieve a Doctor of Podiatry Medicine (DPM).
They do preventative care and treat disorders of the foot such as tumors, ulcers, fractures, skin
and nail diseases or even congenitally acquired deformities. They can design orthotics or plaster
casts. Sometimes they go to the operating room to remove infected bones in the foot or treat
abscesses.

  • They can treat patient in the hospital or in the clinic.

  • Training: After 4 years of an undergraduate degree they go to a Podiatric Medical College.

      Podiatry college is 4 more years.


Oral Maxillary Facial Surgeon (OMF) - These specialized surgeons treat injuries, defects and
diseases of the head, neck, face, jaw and mouth. These are the oral surgeons.😁

  • They can treat patients in the hospital or in the clinic.

  • Training: After undergraduate education of 4 years they go to dental school which is another 4

      years. Then they partake in hospital based training for a minimum of 4 years. Some go on to do
      a fellowship or continued learning for another 1-2 years.

Plastic Surgeon - Country to popular belief, these surgeons do not not use plastic. The term
comes from the Greek word plastikos, which means to mold or form.
They are best known for cosmetic surgery that we are all familiar with including facelifts, breast
augmentation, liposuction and much more. Some have gone into the injectable medication such
as Botox, dermal fillers, tattoo removal and other skin treatments. In the hospital we see them
for reconstructive surgery, for example after having breast cancer or trauma. They can do skin
flaps over areas that have hard time to heal such as sacral ulcers.

  • They see patients in the hospital and clinic.

  • Training: Four years of medical school and then at least 6 years of surgical training following

      that with a minimum of 3 years and Plastic surgery specifically.

Ophthalmology - This is the eye doctor. They can diagnose cataracts, glaucoma, autoimmune
diseases in the eye. They can see infections on the retina. They can perform eye surgery and
prescribe medications and glasses to fix issues with vision.
Optometrists are able to diagnose and treat patients eyes but can not do surgery. They are not
medical doctors. They have a doctor of optometry degree (OD) after finishing an undergraduate
degree and 4 years of optometry school. They can prescribe medications for the eyes.

  • Usually found in their clinic. Occasionally they come to the hospital on special request

  • Training: After an undergraduate university bachelors degree of 4 years, 4 years of medical school, then 4 years residency in ophthalmology.

  • Subspecialty training in Ophthalmology can be done in retina-vitreous, glaucoma, Neuro-

      Ophthalmology, Oculoplastics and pediatrics.

Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) - The doctor of a woman's reproductive needs and during pregnancy.  They help manage diseases in pregnancy such as hypothyroidism, gestational diabetes, diet and weight management in pregnancy and fetal health.  They will also continue to follow woman for diseases related to the uterus and breasts. 

  • They work out of clinics, inpatient rounds, neonatal units, birthing centers and the OR

  • Training: After an undergraduate university bachelors degree of 4 years, 4 years of medical school, then 4 years of obstetrics and gynecology.

  • Subspecialties can be completed in gynecologic oncology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, maternal fetal medicine, and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

  • For further reading you can go to AMERICAN GYNECOLOGICAL & OBSTETRICAL SOCIETY (AGOS)

Urology
General Surgery
Neurosurgery
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Orthopedics (Ortho)
Radiologist
Pathologist
Anesthesiology
Psychiatry
Allergist and Immunologist
Otolaryngologist – Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
Podiatry
Oral Maxillary Facial Surgeon (OMF)
Plastic Surgeon
Ophthalmology
Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN)
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