Medicine

field of study for diagnosing, treating and preventing disease

Medicine is the science that treats and prevents diseases in humans. Medical workers treat injuries, infections, and sickness. Medicine also helps people with disease prevention and the best ways to not get sick from bacteria or viruses. Medical doctors also help unhealthy (bad habits, overweight, underweight) people return to a healthy condition.[1]

People who practice medicine are most often called medical doctors or physicians. Often doctors work closely with nurses and many other types of health care workers.

Many doctors specialize in one kind of medical work. For example, pediatrics is the medical specialty about the health of children.[2][3]

Specialties in Medicine change

Anaesthesiology change

An anesthetist (British spelling: anaesthetist) is a doctor trained to provide sedation during surgeries.[4] This is important for surgeries and certain medical procedures.

Anesthetists also provide pre-operative assessments, ensuring the patient is safe during any operation, and successfully wakes them from anaesthesia when it is complete.

Anesthetists assess medical conditions and suitability for anaesthesia. They screen for risk factors prior to surgery and try to optimize the operative environment for the patient and the surgeon. This means that if the patient has allergies (for example a latex allergy), none will be present in the operating room. They also monitor for and respond to emergencies during surgery. They are the doctors who prevent or treat pain in different situations. These situations include: giving injections into the blood vessels or fat, epidurals (pain medications injected into the spine) during labor and delivery; provide spinal blocks; local nerve blocks; and general anaesthesia for procedures.

They are the doctors who are especially trained in intubation and ventilation, which is helping the patient breath when they are paralyzed and asleep during surgery. Hence, due to their skill in intubation, they can be first line responders for emergencies. They help people who are in distress with their breathing or when their airway has become obstructed. The anesthetist is the person responsible for giving injections in such emergencies also.

Anaesthesiology is the practise of studying anesthesia.

Cardiology change

A cardiologist is a doctor with special training about the heart.[5][6][7][8] The doctor in this field ensures the heart is healthy and functions properly.

The heart is a vital organ whose role is to pump blood around the body via the arteries, and back to the heart by veins. The purpose of blood is to deliver oxygen to the tissues and take out carbon dioxide. Without the heart functioning well, our tissues and organs would die and not function properly.

Cardiologists treat heart attacks, sudden cardiac arrests, arrhythmias (rhythm issues related to a faulty electrical system of the heart), heart failure (where the heart fails to pump blood forward properly) and many other heart related illnesses. They specialize in life saving procedures like cardiac stents and cardiac ablation. There is a subspecialty within cardiology called "Interventional cardiology." These are cardiologists who specialize in interventions or procedures to save the function of the heart, such as cardiac stenting or angiography.

Cardiology is the study of the heart.

Cardiovascular surgery change

This specialty consists of well trained doctors who practice cardiac surgery.[9][10][11][12] They are best known for their role in cardiac bypass surgeries. In cardiac bypass, the surgeon restores blood flow to the area of the heart that was deficient due to a blocked coronary artery. This is usually done by taking a vein, most commonly the saphenous vein from the leg, to create a pathway of blood flow to the heart region that needs it.

Dermatology change

A dermatologist is a doctor that studies different conditions of the skin and also allergies. This can include allergy-related conditions, acne, inflammatory conditions of the skin, and skin cancer. They prescribe medications to put on the skin, such as lotions and creams, or pills to treat these different conditions. In a clinical setting they might also test the skin for single or multiple different contact allergies for allergies such as pollen, animals, or latex.

Emergency Medicine change

Emergency room doctors (also known as E.R. Doctors) are in charge of sudden important or life-threatening emergencies.[13][14] In addition to dealing with heart attacks, strokes, traumas, or other issues that require immediate medical attention or surgeries, they also deal with a wide range of other health conditions, such as mental health suicide attempts and drug overdoses.

Their training is broad and diverse as anyone can walk through the door seeking help. They see patients of all ages and walks of life. However, unlike a general practitioner or family doctor, their immediate goal is to make sure the patient is stable and exclude any serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions.

Family medicine change

A family doctor, otherwise known as general practitioner, is trained to provide medical service to people of all ages, demographics, and walks of life.[15][16][17] Their training is diverse to deal with a variety of conditions including all non surgical specialties. They also follow the patient from birth to death and are trained to treat an individual as a whole, in the context of their social setting, their family situation and mental health and so on. Unlike specialists who mainly deal with problems of one organ or system, family doctors deal with all parts of the body and combine this new information for the patient's general health. They gain a perspective of the person's health as a whole. They can refer to specialists for issues that require more detailed or specialized treatments as part of their treatment options.

Gastroenterology change

Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and upper abdominal organs.[18] The GI tract is consists of the esophagus all the way down to the anus. The upper abdominal organs include the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen. In addition to dealing with medical conditions associated with these organs, doctors in this speciality also perform endoscopies. This is where a camera is placed to visualize the esophagus and stomach (upper endoscopy) or the colon (lower endoscopy or colonoscopy).

Gastroenterologists that specialize in the liver is called a Hepatologist. They are responsible for treating patients with liver failure or cirrhosis. They also treat patients with viral Hepatitis (A,B,C) and many other forms of liver disease.

Infectious Disease change

Infectious disease specialist M.Ds are doctors that study and treat difficult or rare infections, such as rare tropical diseases, antibiotic resistant bacterial infections, dangerous viruses and other highly contagious diseases.

Internal Medicine change

Doctors in this specialty are trained to recognize and treat a variety of different conditions involving the internal organs.[19][20] They have wide knowledge in a number of specialties including, but not limited to: Respirology, Nephrology,[21][22][23] Gastroenterology, Cardiology.

Doctors who practice broadly in this field are known as General Internists (or General Internal Medicine doctors). Internists can go to receive further training beyond residency in a particular field. For example, Gastroenterologists are internists that have chosen to specialize in GI medicine.

Internal medicine doctors are in charge of inpatient units when patients are admitted for a general reason. Unlike family doctors and emergency doctors, although their training is diverse and they have broad knowledge in many organ systems, they do not treat or manage children, babies, or pregnant women. (Those patients are instead cared for by Pediatricians and Obstetrics/gynecology, respectively.)

Gynecology and obstetrics change

Doctors in this field, certified as an OB/GYN or Obs/Gyn, specialize in women's health covering conditions of the female reproductive organs, and pregnancy care and delivery.[24][25][26]

Some matters they cover include contraceptive medicine, fertility workup and treatments, prolapse and incontinence, sexual health, ovarian tumors/ cysts, gynecological oncology. They are also surgeons in their fields, capable of performing numerous gynecological surgeries.

OB/GYNs also practice obstetrical medicine, specializing in maternal fetal care and deliveries, complications related to deliveries, assisted deliveries (such as vacuum and forceps deliveries) and Caesarian sections.

Medical Genetics change

A medical geneticist is a type of doctor who might see adults, children, or newborns, to determine if a medical condition is caused by a genetic condition (a change in DNA or genes).

Medical genetics has different subspecialties for the different types of conditions that are treated. These subspecialties include cancer genetics (counseling for cancer conditions passed down through families), reproductive genetics (counseling for parents who have trouble getting pregnant, or who are tested before planning a pregnancy and found to have genes that may cause a genetic condition in a child such as Cystic Fibrosis, the commonest genetic condition), or metabolic genetics (counseling and medical treatment for children and adults born with problems in using fats, proteins, or carbohydrates from food to make energy).

Nephrology change

Nephrologists are MDs who specialize in health and diseases of the kidneys.

Nephrology is the study of the kidneys.

Neurology change

Neurologists are MDs who study and treat the nervous system, which includes the brain, brain and spinal cord (CNS), and its branches (peripheral nervous system). Treatment may include medications or surgery.

Oncology change

Oncology is the field of medicine that studies and treats cancer.

Ophthalmology change

This medical specialty consists of doctors who recognize and treat medical conditions associated with the eyes.[27][28][29] Treatment may include medications or surgery.

Some common complaints they see include red eyes (conjunctivitis), eye pain, visual changes and trauma (damage by an object or person). Ophthalmologists deal with many eye diseases including conjunctivitis, iritis, blepharitis, hordeolum, chalazion, glaucoma, cataracts, and so on. Everyone needs medical help with their eyes eventually, and by old age (65 or older) they will have worn down enough to get cataracts.

Orthopedics change

Orthopedists doctors specialising in the treatment of bones. They treat broken or fractured bones, musculo-skeletal problems and others such as osteoporosis.

Otolaryngology change

These are doctors with special training to treat the ears, nose and throat.[30][31][32] These are the doctors who will very commonly remove an organ called the tonsils from a patient.

Pathology change

Pathologists study the reasons things go wrong with the body. They examine tissue samples, look for cancer cell types under a microscope, evaluate DNA samples and many other specimens with advanced laboratory techniques.

Psychiatry change

Psychiatrists are MDs who study and treat behavioral and thinking disorders.

Pulmonary change

This medical area, commonly known as chest medicine or respiratory medicine, deals with the respiratory system.[33] It commonly involves patients who require intensive care including life support and mechanical ventilation.

Doctors of this field usually are knowledgeable in diseases and conditions of the chest, such as pneumonia or asthma.[34] Doctors in this field tend to perform minor procedures in surgery of the respiratory tract. Pulmonary specialists often practice critical care medicine. They also manage complicated chest infections.

Radiology change

Radiologists are physicians who read and explain medical images such as x-ray pictures, CT scans, MRIs, Ultrasound images and other diagnostic movies and pictures. They also direct radiation treatments for cancer patients and others.

Rheumatology change

Rheumatologists are doctors that treat autoimmune diseases. These types of diseases occur because the body sees parts of the body and cells as "foreign" (not part of the body); the immune system (the part of the body the fights infections) attacks the body and causes problems like pain and difficulty with movement. Rheumatologists also treat certain types of chronic pain conditions.

Urology change

Urologists are doctors who study and treat the urogenital system (and urinary tract. Includes the bladder down to the utherer).

Related pages change

References change

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  3. Winnicott, D. W. (2014). Through pediatrics to psychoanalysis: Collected papers. Routledge.
  4. Mashour, G. A., & Engelhard, K. (Eds.). (2019). Oxford Textbook of Neuroscience and Anaesthesiology. Oxford University Press.
  5. Park, M. K. (2014). Pediatric Cardiology for Practitioners E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  6. Topol, E. J., & Teirstein, P. S. (2015). Textbook of interventional cardiology E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  7. Redwood, S., Curzen, N., & Banning, A. (Eds.). (2018). Oxford textbook of interventional cardiology. Oxford University Press.
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  9. Geha, A. S. (1996). Glenn's thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. A. E. Baue (Ed.). Appleton & Lange.
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