You may call them simply doctors. However, most doctors specialize in one type of medicine or another. In fact,  there are several hundred medical specialties and subspecialties. Here are the most common specialties you will see.


They treat immune system disorders such  

as asthma, eczema, food allergies, insect sting allergies,  and some autoimmune diseases. 


These doctors give you medications to numb your pain or to put  you under during surgery, childbirth, or other procedures.  They monitor your vital signs while you are under  anesthesia. 


They are experts on the heart and blood vessels. You might see them for heart failure, a heart attack, high blood  pressure, or an irregular heartbeat. 

Colon and Rectal Surgeons 

You would see these doctors for problems with your small  intestine, colon, and bottom. They can treat colon  cancer, hemorrhoids, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Critical Care Medicine Specialists 

They care for people who are critically ill or injured, often heading intensive care units in hospitals. You might see  them if your heart or other organs are failing or if you’ve  been in an accident. 


Have problems with your skin, hair, nails? Do you have  moles, scars, acne, or skin allergies? Dermatologists can  help. 


These are experts on hormones and metabolism. They can  treat conditions like diabetes, thyroid problems, infertility,  and calcium and bone disorders. 

Emergency Medicine Specialists 

These doctors make life-or-death decisions for sick and  injured people, usually in an emergency room. Their job is  to save lives and to avoid or lower the chances of  disability. 

Family Physicians 

They care for the whole family, including children, adults,  and the elderly. They do routine checkups and screening  tests, give you flu and immunization shots, and manage  diabetes and other ongoing medical conditions. 


They’re specialists in digestive organs, including  the stomach, bowels, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. You  might see them for abdominal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, jaundice, or cancers in your  digestive organs. They also do a colonoscopy and other  tests for colon cancer.

Geriatric Medicine Specialists 

These doctors care for the elderly. They can treat people in  their homes, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and hospitals. 


These are specialists in diseases of the blood, spleen, and  lymph glands, like sickle cell disease, anemia, hemophilia,  and leukemia. 

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialists They work with people who are nearing death. They’re  experts in pain management. They work with a team of  other doctors to maintain your quality of life. 

Infectious Disease Specialists 

They diagnose and treat infections in any part of your  body, like fevers, Lyme disease, pneumonia, tuberculosis,  and HIV and AIDS. Some of them specialize in preventive  medicine or travel medicine. 


These primary-care doctors treat both common and  complex illnesses, usually only in adults. You’ll likely visit  them or your family doctor first for any condition.  Internists often have advanced training in a host of  subspecialties, like heart disease, cancer, or adolescent  or sleep medicine. With additional training (called a  fellowship), internists can specialize in cardiology,  gastroenterology, endocrinology, nephrology,  pulmonology, and other medical sub-specialties.

Medical Geneticists 

They diagnose and treat hereditary disorders passed down  from parents to children. These doctors may also  offer genetic counseling and screening tests. 


They treat kidney diseases as well as high blood  pressure and fluid and mineral imbalances linked to kidney  disease. 


These are specialists in the nervous system, which includes  the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. They treat  strokes, brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s  disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Obstetricians and Gynecologists 

Often called OB/GYNs, these doctors focus on women’s  health, including pregnancy and childbirth. They  do Pap smears, pelvic exams, and pregnancy checkups.  OB/GYNs are trained in both areas. But some of them may  focus on women’s reproductive health (gynecologists), and  others specialize in caring for pregnant women  (obstetricians). 


These internists are cancer specialists. They  

do chemotherapy treatments and often work  with radiation oncologists and surgeons to care for  someone with cancer. 


You call them eye doctors. They can prescribe glasses  or contact lenses and diagnose and treat diseases 

like glaucoma. Unlike optometrists, they’re medical doctors  who can treat every kind of eye condition as well as  operate on the eyes.


Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) are fully licensed  medical doctors just like MDs. Their training stresses a  “whole body” approach. Osteopaths use the latest medical  technology but also the body’s natural ability to heal itself. 


They treat diseases in the ears, nose, throat, sinuses,  head, neck, and respiratory system. They also can do  reconstructive and plastic surgery on your head and neck. 


These lab doctors identify the causes of diseases by  examining body tissues and fluids under microscopes. 


They care for children from birth to young adulthood.  Some pediatricians specialize in pre-teens and teens, child  abuse, or children’s developmental issues. 


These specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation  treat neck or back pain and sports or spinal cord injuries  as well as other disabilities caused by accidents or  diseases. 

Plastic Surgeons 

You might call them cosmetic or aesthetic surgeons. They rebuild or repair your skin, face, hands, breast, or body. That can  happen after an injury or disease or for cosmetic reasons. 


They care for problems in your ankles and feet. That can  include injuries from accidents or sports or from ongoing  health conditions like diabetes. Some podiatrists have  advanced training in other subspecialties of the foot. 

Preventive Medicine Specialists 

They focus on keeping you well. They may work in public  health or at hospitals. Some focus on treating people with  addictions, illnesses from exposure to drugs, chemicals,  and poisons, and other areas. 


These doctors work with people with mental, emotional, or  addictive disorders. They can diagnose and  

treat depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, anxiety  disorders, and sexual and gender identity issues. Some  psychiatrists focus on children, adolescents, or the elderly. 


You would see these specialists for problems like lung  cancer, pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, and trouble  sleeping caused by breathing issues. 


They use X-rays, ultrasound, and other imaging tests to  diagnose diseases. They can also specialize in radiation  oncology to treat conditions like cancer.


They specialize in arthritis and other diseases in your  joints, muscles, bones, and tendons. You might see them  for your osteoporosis (weak bones), back  

pain, gout, tendinitis from sports or repetitive injuries,  and fibromyalgia. 

Sleep Medicine Specialists 

They find and treat causes behind your poor sleep. They  may have sleep labs or give you take-home tests to chart  your sleep-wake patterns. 

Sports Medicine Specialists 

These doctors diagnose, treat, and prevent injuries related to sports and exercise. 

General Surgeons 

These doctors can operate on all parts of your body. They can take out tumors, appendices, or gallbladders and  repair hernias. Many surgeons have subspecialties, like  cancer, hand, or vascular surgery. 


These are surgeons who care for men and women for problems in the urinary tract, like a leaky bladder. They also treat male infertility and do prostate exams.

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