Types of Medical Doctors and Their Job Descriptions

Types of doctors and Medical specialists

The field of medicine is a huge and complex field that is usually divided into many sections and sub-sections. For most people, any type of doctor is generally referred to as a doctor regardless of what their specialty is.

It is however good to know that each type of doctor available in the field as their own name and their area of specialty and it would be nice if you get to know each of them by their respective professional names.

In the subsequent sub-headings, we are going to look at the different types of doctors, their professional names and what their work description actually consist of.

Types of eye doctors

Eye doctors also known as eye care professionals are individuals who provides services related to the eyes and concerning your vision. There are various types of eye doctors each depending on their specialization. Below is a list of eye doctors and their occupation.

Ophthalmologist

These are medical eye doctors whose services include comprehensive eye care such as optical care, surgical care and medical care. For one to qualify as to be this kind of a doctor, he or she is required to study for the same for four years in college, four years in a medical school and one year of internship.

After undergoing comprehensive studying and training, one becomes a fully qualified medical doctor and surgeon. Some of these practitioners usually choose to do additional advance training in certain area of ophthalmology such as retina, cornea, glaucoma, laser vision correction, pathology and neuro-ophthalmology.

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In this category there is also the ophthalmic medical practitioner who is a medical doctor specializing in ophthalmic conditions but had not completed a specialization in ophthalmology.

Optometrist

According to the World Council of Optometry, an optometrist is defined as a primary healthcare practitioner of the eye and visual system. These types of practitioners usually deal with managing eye diseases through services such as refractioning and dispensing and detection and diagnosis.

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For one to qualify to be a doctor of optometry, they are required to attend four years of college followed by four years in optometry school then an optional one year residency. It is after one is done with training that he or she is considered to be fully qualified to treat eye diseases and disorders and conduct optics and vision correction.

Orthopist

These are doctors that specialize in management and diagnosis of eye movement and coordination problems such as convergence and accommodation problem, misalignment of the visual axis. They treat conditions such as strabismus and binocular vision disorder.

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Orthopist usually assist ophthalmologist in conducting surgery, perform vision screening and perform low vision assessments. They also teach other orthoptic students and other medical students. Apart from this, they normally act as vision researchers and clinical administrators.

Ocularist

This type of eye doctor specializes in fitting of prosthetic eyes for people who have lost their vision due to an injury, trauma or illness. There is no specific training meant to qualify one to be a Ocularisthence these doctors usually develop their skills from a number of disciplines such as nursing, biology, medical arts and illustration, optometry and dental. There are also dentists and maxillofacial prosthodontists who also practice Ocularist.

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Optician

These type of eye doctors are specialized in fitting and fabrication of lenses, spectacles, low vision aids, contact lenses and ocular prosthetics

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Vision therapist

These are mainly either Orthopist or optometrist. Their main role is to work with patients who require vision therapy such as those suffering from low vision or those who need visual correction especially those whose corrective lenses are not enough to reverse the condition

Dermatologist

Dermatology is the discipline that specializes with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair and nails and hence a dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin care. Some of the common skin diseases include; skin cancer, fungal infections, dermatitis, acne, warts and psoriasis

For one to be a dermatologist, he or she requires to be knowledgeable in basic sciences like microbiology, pathology, physics, biochemistry, physiology and endocrinology. One should also be knowledgeable with other medical specialties mostly because skin diseases are usually associated with other internal conditions.

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Most trained and qualified dermatologist usually practices either of the following activities; see patients in hospitals, conduct private practices and act as consultants. Some are also involved in teaching and contributing to clinical and basic research.

Sometimes their work requires them to conduct surgeries on people such as;

  1. When the surgery is a necessary measure to prevent or control a disease in its early stages.
  2. In order to improve the skin’s appearance such as when they remove growths and damaged skin either because of discolorations, sunlight or ageing.
  3. As a necessary measure for a definite diagnosis

The average pay of a dermatologist is about $245000 annually which is equivalent to about $75 per hour.

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Neurologist

A neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the nervous system disorder. This is inclusive of the spinal cord the brain, the nerves and the muscles. They usually make their diagnosis after conducting neurological examinations of the nerves of the head and neck, balance, reflexes, muscle strength and movement plus other cognitive abilities. Some of the diagnostic tests that they perform include;

  1. Computed axial tomography
  2. Magnetic resonance angiography
  3. Spinal tap
  4. Electroencephalography
  5. Nerve conduction velocity.

As much as neurology is a non-surgical area, its correspondent surgical practices are referred to as neurosurgery.In order for one to be a fully certified board neurologist, they are required to have had four years of premedical education in a university or college, four years of medical schooling, one year internship in medicine and atleast 3 years of training in an accredited neurology residency program.

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It is after completingthese requirements that the accredited doctors then seek certification fromthe American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology which is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. There is usually a significant overlap between neurology and psychiatry with the boundaries between the two not so significant. It is for this reason that some of the certified doctorsoften seek to advance their knowledge in fields like epilepsy, addiction psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, neurodevelopment disabilities and vascular neurology amongst others.

Far from their designated roles, neurologists often get involved in conducting clinical research, clinical trials and conducting basic research.Some of the symptoms that usually require one to see a neurologist include muscle weakness, confusion, dizziness, change in sensation and coordination problems.

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People who are having trouble with their sense of touch, smell or vision also require to see a neurologist since sometimes a problem with the senses is usually caused by a nervous system disorder.

The nervous system is large and very complex and as such most neurologists seek to specialize in one specific area. Some of the available specialties include; neuro-oncology, vascular which pertains to stroke, epilepsy, headache medicine, child neurology, autonomic disorders and neuromuscular medicine amongst others.

A neurologist’s salary normally is usually about $200,900 per month which translates to about $62 per hour.

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Gynecologist

A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes with the health and wellness of women and especially the female reproductive system. Their main job description is to conduct examinations on the women’s reproductive organs to check for any abnormalities and possible problems. Many gynecologists are usually knowledgeable about obstetrics which is basically the care of expectant women and their growing foetus.

The tests are usually done to check for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. Sometimes they also do breast examinations to check out for breast lumps which are usually an indication of breast cancer. Also part of their job description usually involves counseling of patients. They normally advise the women on safe sex practices and about available contraception.

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Gynecologists are usually authorized to prescribe birth control pills and give contraceptive injections to their patients after advising them about the advantages and disadvantages of the contraceptives.

Some of the diseases that revolve around the female reproductive system that a gynecologist can treat include; urinary tract infections, painful menstrual periods, internal cysts, heavy periods and growths.

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In order for one to become a gynecologist, he or she would be required to pursue an undergraduate course in a field of science. After completion, he or she is required to attend medical school and after completion, they are required to take additional training specializing in women’s health.

After they finish their formal training, they are require to pass a series of board exams and licensing tests so that they can be cleared to see and treat patients. From there they are required to regularly sit for more exams and go for educational conferences.

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These practitioners are required to stay updated on legal requirements, new break through and generally ensure that they stay updating on current issue revolving around their profession.

Surgeons

Surgeons are physicians who operate on the human body for the purpose of removing sick tissues, organs and to repair systems or replace sick organs with transplants.

This type of doctor operates on patients who suffer from diseases, injuries or deformities. They can choose to either train on becoming general surgeons or specialize into specific diseases such as neurological, plastic surgery, orthopedic and cardiovascular.

Internal Medicine Doctor

This type of a doctor deals with the scientific knowledge and research of the medicine and through their expertise; they diagnose and treat illnesses among adult population. They specialize in health promotion and disease sickness prevention.

Baby Doctors

Your child is going to need a variety of medical professionals from the moment they are born. These will be the people who answer your questions, examine, diagnose and prescribe medication for your child.

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Some of these types of baby doctors include:

  1. Pediatrician

These type of a doctor usually conducts regular physical exams on your child, offer disease care and treat common illnesses. These are the people who will be responsible for your child’s health.

  1. Pediatric dentist

Children are required to have their first dental appointment within the first six months of having their first tooth. The visit normally includes a physical exam of the mouth which will help to protect your child’s teeth and set up a lifetime of good dental habits.

  1. Gynecologist

It is recommended that each young woman should go see a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15 years. This first visit is usually important to help lay a foundation for future visits. Here, the young woman will be counseled about periods, cramps, sex and birth control.

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  1. Allergist

If your child develops an allergy, they will require a specialist to help treat their allergies. This type of doctor will normally perform specific tests so as to determine whether your child has allergies or its just sensitivities to their environment.

  1. Endocrinologist

This type of doctor specializes in understanding the body’s metabolism and production of hormones. A visit to the endocrinologist will help to discover any type of disorder in the child early enough so as to be able to treat it.

  1. Dermatologist

This doctor will be responsible for detecting any type of skin disorders that your child might have. As the children approach adolescence, they might need a dermatologist because of skin conditions like skin acne that may develop during that time.

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  1. Child Psychologist or psychiatrist

Mental health in children is as important as in adults or even more important than for adult. Children might require counseling in the event of either a traumatic event, death of a loved one or in case of big changes in the their life such as when their family moves to a new location or the divorce or separation of parents.

Whether their mental health symptoms are manifested in their behavior or emotions, it is always important to address how they feel and make sure that they know they have someone to talk to and that it is okay to open up.

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Types of Surgeons

Plastic surgeon

This type of doctor specializes in correcting function and form of different body parts. There are several types of plastic surgeons. Some of them include; reconstructive plastic surgeon who deals in correcting and developing abnormalities, traumatic congenital and burns. Cosmetic plastic surgeons deal with maintaining, enhancing and restoring of appearance through surgery, an example is the tummy tuck plastic surgery or the lip sanction.

Gynecologist and Obstetricians

A gynecologist deals with the female reproductive system and can perform surgeries such as ovary removal, appendectomies, cytoscopics and hysterectomies.

Obstetricians are specialized with caring for pregnant women and providing them with the required assistance during child birth. They can also perform cesarean section type of births.

Orthopedic

This type of doctor specializes in treating musculoskeletal system injuries such as spine injuries, joint reconstruction and musculoskeletal oncology and hand, shoulder and elbow surgery as well as pediatric orthopedic and foot and ankle injuries.

Cardiothoracic

These are surgeons who work as part of a team specializing in corrector problems with organs such as thorax, heart and lungs. Some of the procedures that they perform include valve surgery, coronary artery surgery and intra-thoracic malignancy.

Neurological surgeons

They specialize in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of disorders of the central autonomic and peripheral nervous systems including their support structures and vascular supply. The goal of the surgeries is usually to evaluate and treat the pathological processes that modify the activity and function of the nervous system

Ophthalmic surgeon

They are concerned with the comprehensive care of vision and eyes trained to diagnose treat all eye and visual problems. They usually provide contact lenses and glasses and they perform surgeries where necessary.

Pediatric surgeon

This type of surgeon normally provides surgical services to children who are having development challenges; that is from newborn to teenagers. They diagnose and manage the surgical problems.

Otolaryngology

These type of surgeons are trained in the care of patients with diseases and disorders that affect the ears, upper alimentary and respiratory system. They have the basic understanding and knowledge of head and neck sciences, communication sciences. Their knowledge includes speech language pathology, the chemical senses and allergy, endocrinology and neurology in relation to the head and neck.

Colon and Rectal Surgeons

These surgeons are specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases of the colon, rectum, intestinal tract, anal canal and perennial area; that is the liver, urinary and reproductive systems. They normally perform endoscopic procedures to detect and treat conditions of the bowel lining such as cancer, polyps and inflammatory conditions.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

These surgeons are trained to treat problems such as extraction of the wisdom tooth, misaligned jaw and tumors, cysts of the mouth and jaw, administer anesthesia and perform dental implant surgery.

Bone Doctor

This type of doctor is specialized in the care and maintenance of the skeletal system to correct and straighten misalignments such as arthritis, chronic pain, rheumatic diseases and musculoskeletal injuries.

Medical Doctors

These types of doctors examine, diagnose and treat patients. They specialties are diverse ranging from anesthesiology, pediatrics or cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology or gynecology. These doctors have the ability to recognize symptoms and signs of various illnesses and injuries. They then order for the appropriate tests and prescribe treatments.

Family Doctor

This type of doctor will take care of the whole body across all ages addressing the combination of psychological, social, physical and social physical growing together having a medical history that can be followed by physicians.

How to become a doctor

Doctors are known as people who help us heal when we get ill or are in pain.

For one to become a doctor one is required to spend many years in training for their career and it starts from college. Medical schools accept all types of individuals but they have to have a high score on the Medical College Admission Test and high grades in their Sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics and math.

These individuals are also encouraged to engage in extra-curricular activities and volunteer or work in health care settings before graduation. An essential part of the requirement is clinical experience.

Generally, it takes one to about nine or more year of formal education and training

How much do Doctors earn?

The average salary of a physician can depend on their specialty. The average pay of a primary care doctor is $220000 per year. Those physicians practicing a medical specialty usually make more that is about $400,000 per year

Long Term career prospects or doctors

Having a career as a doctor is a continuous learning process with specialties taking years of postgraduate education in the form of residencies and fellowships to acquire more knowledge and training in their chosen specialty.

Physicians who are highly trained may move into hospital administration or advance to partner status at their practice. Some even choose to open their own medical practices.

Learn more about becoming a doctor

If you want to learn more about becoming a doctor, the Association of American Medical Colleges has produced a resourceful document called The Road to Becoming a Doctor. The American Medical Association has also secluded a section of its website to inform people about becoming doctors.

It is also advisable to seek the professional advice of an already practicing medical practitioner.

What type of doctor should I be?

To become a doctor, one needs to be very passionate about helping people because that is what the profession requires of you every other day.  Your choice of the doctor you want to become has to be something that sparks your interest.

Also sometimes one might need to consider the pay that they will be receiving even though with pursuing a career, money should not be the most important aspect.

There are a variety of types of doctors that one can choose to become hence based on the information; you can make a knowledgeable decision. Also, seek the advice of people already in the field.

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