Nowadays, medicine has expanded to various disciplines; doctors now have their own specializations. During the old days, when a patient paid a visit to his doctor, he expected his doctor to be able to diagnose all his conditions. Presently, however, there are different doctors for each of the body’s vital organs. There are cardiologists for the heart, nephrologists for the kidneys, Physiatrists for physical disabilities, and a lot more kinds of doctors in specific fields.
Whether you are a student, who would like to pursue medicine, or a patient planning to visit his doctor, it is imperative that you should know what specific field of medicine you are interested in. The cardiologist would not entertain your complaints of muscle weakness, unless it is related to your heart. He would recommend you to a physiatrist, most likely. To know more of what type of field you should consider, here are some specialized doctors and a brief description of each.
Physiatrists or rehabilitation physicians
These are doctors who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation of patients who may have been partially or fully unable to move and perform their routine activities. Physical therapists who proceeded to medical school are excellent candidates for becoming physiatrists. One vital requirement for becoming a physiatrist is that he should have completed his training in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R).
These are internal medical doctors, who are experts in treating cardiac conditions, such as myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy and other heart diseases. They should have specialized training in cardiac management and are licensed as cardiologists or fellows in a licensing organization in their country. The cardiologist could recommend and supervise diagnostic tests such as ECG, stress tests or laboratory tests to confirm or help him diagnose a patient.
Nephrologists are also doctors in internal medicine who specialize in kidney diseases like nephrolithiasis, necrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis and urinary tract infection, among others. They should have undergone special training in the management of kidney conditions. They could also recommend dialysis and laboratory tests, if needed. Tests that are often requested are routine urinalysis, creatinine clearance and renal blood flow tests, namely, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine tests.
These are doctors who have specialized in conditions of the nervous system, including the brain. Neural conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, seizures and other neurological diseases are treated and managed by neurologists. They have undergone two to five years of training, depending on the licensing body.
These are more specializations of doctors that you should be aware of. Next time you go to a doctor, decide what type of doctor you need first to avoid wasting your time and money.