After passing the board exam, doctors have the freedom to choose their area of specialty, which takes between three and seven years. The length of time depends on the specialty. Below are some of the area of specialization.
#1 – Audiologist
A doctor that specializes in hearing health care is called an audiologist. His primary role is to assess, diagnose, and treat disorders that have something to do with hearing and balance both in children and adults. In layman’s term, an audiologist is a hearing doctor. Some of the services of audiologist include:
- Performing a complete hearing test.
- Fitting, adjusting, and maintaining hearing aids.
- Create a hearing and speech rehabilitation program.
- Treatment for ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and balance problems. (1, 2, and 3)
#2 – Allergist/Immunologist
An allergist is a doctor that specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing allergies, asthma, and immune-related disorders. To become an allergist, you need to undergo at least three years of training in internal medicine and pass the exam given by the American Board of Internal Medicine. An additional two years of study/fellowship in immunology and allergy training program is also required.
#3 – Andrologists
An andrologist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of conditions that have something to do with males’ fertility and sexual functions. They are urologist too, but their main concern is in the male reproductive issues. The training and board certification program an andrologist have to go through is similar to that of the urologist. Andrologists deal with the following conditions:
- Infertility in male
- Disorders of the penis and testes
- Premature ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Performs vasectomy and vasectomy reversal (3, 4, and 5)
#4 – Anesthesiologist
An anesthesiologist is a doctor who handles anesthesia, which is a must when performing surgical operations. The work of anesthesiologist includes the following:
- Perioperative care
- Developing anesthetic plans
- Administration of anesthetics
To become an anesthesiologist, the doctor should have a residency in anesthesia, which typically takes three years. The role of anesthesiologists is important as they keep the patient safe during surgery. They also reduce post-operative pain.
#5 – Cardiologist
If you have issues with your heart and blood vessels, the right doctor to consult is a cardiologist. Such a doctor diagnose and treat conditions that have something to do with the cardiovascular system. To become a cardiologist, the doctor must have 10 years of medical training: four years of medical school, three years training in internal medicine, and three years in cardiology and related subspecialty field. To be board certified cardiologist, the doctor must pass the exam given by the internal medicine in cardiology. (5, 6)
#6 – Cardiovascular Surgeon
Cardiovascular surgeons are the ones who perform cardiac-related surgeries such as coronary artery bypass surgery, valve replacement, heart transplant, and the likes. Being a cardiovascular surgeon is not an easy task. The educational requirement is steep. After graduating from medicine and earning a license, the doctor should undergo a five-year general surgery residency and another two to three years specialized cardio or cardiothoracic fellowship.
#7 – Clinical Neurophysiologist
They are the doctors who investigate and diagnose conditions of the nervous system such as those suffering from epilepsy, neuromuscular disease, nerve entrapments, Parkinson’s disease, neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and ophthalmic disease. Basically, anything that has something to do with neurology is the responsibility of a clinical neurophysiologist. They investigate and record the functions of the brain and the surrounding structures with the use of computer, electronic, electrical, and magnetic equipment. (5, 6, and 7)
#8 – Dentist
A doctor specializing in the health of the teeth and the oral cavity is called a dentist. To be a dentist, you must be a graduate of doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine. You should pass the board exam for dentist. The dentist checks, diagnoses, and treats diseases of the teeth, gums, and the entire oral cavity.
#9 – Dermatologist
A doctor that specializes in skin-related condition is called a dermatologist. He/she treats not only the skin but also the nails, hair, and mucous membrane disorders. There are over 3,000 skin conditions that a dermatologist treats including acne and psoriasis. A dermatologist also performs laser treatment, skin grafts, excision of lesions, and more. To be a dermatologist, you need to be board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
#10 – Emergency Doctors
Emergency doctors attend to emergency situations; scenarios where immediate decision making is needed so as to prevent further disability and injury to the patient. The emergency doctor is the one responsible for providing immediate recognition, evaluation, care and stabilizing the patients, and the likes. Emergency doctors also provide advanced cardiac life support, trauma care, resuscitation, and management of life-threatening conditions.
#11 – Endocrinologist
A physician specializing in glands and hormones are called endocrinologist. He/she handles problems that have something to do with metabolism, biochemical processes, and the body’s ability to convert foods into energy. An endocrinologist specializing in children is called pediatric endocrinologist. To be an endocrinologist, you need to be a licensed internal medicine doctor and undergo at least two to three years training and pass an additional certification exam to be called an endocrinologist. (5, 6, and 7)
#12 – Epidemiologists
They are scientists studying the disease outbreak in a certain population. They are public health professionals and they analyze the cause of outbreaks, find cure, and prevent future outbreaks. In layman’s term, they are the disease detectives in the world of public health.
#13 – ENT Specialist
ENT specialists are doctors specializing in conditions that have something to do with ears, nose, and throat. Some ENT doctors are called otolaryngologist and they manage and treat disorders of the neck and head including the parts of the head like nose, ears, throat, sinuses, larynx, and the surrounding structures. Doctors who wish to be an ENT specialist should undergo an additional five years specialty training and a two year residency program. An oral and written exam should be passed too. (7, 8)
#14 – Family Practitioner
A family practitioner or also called family doctor or general practitioner sees patients with nearly any concerns. They are the primary providers of prenatal care, attend deliveries but will refer patients to a specialist in case of complex health issues.
#15 – Gastroenterologist
They are doctors trained to diagnose and treat problems that have something to do with the gastrointestinal tract and the liver. After earning a medical license, the doctor needs to spend at least five years for specialized education. Health concerns that warrant the expertise of gastroenterologist include problems with the stomach, esophagus, colon, small intestine, rectum, bile ducts, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.
#16 – Gynecologist
A gynecologist is a surgeon who handles problems in the females’ reproductive system including the v@gina, vulva, ovaries, cervix, and the fallopian tube. Some of the issues dealt with by a gynecologist include infertility, menstrual problems, contraception, and menopause, to name a few. (8, 9)
#17 – General Psychiatrist
Experts in mental health are called psychiatrists. Their role is to diagnose and treat people with mental-related illnesses. Some of the conditions treated and managed by psychiatrists are depression, addiction, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, to name a few. Psychiatrists provide psychological treatment, prescribing medications, and performing therapeutic procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy.
#18 – Hematologist
A specialist in hematology (blood-forming organs and blood-related diseases) is called hematologist. Some of the conditions a hematologist treats and manages include leukemia, sickle cell anemia, haemophilia, and lymphoma, to name a few. After getting your license, you need to spend seven more years of postgraduate training. A certification in subspecialty is also required.
#19 – Hepatologists
A hepatologist is a doctor specializing in hepatology; the study of internal body parts, specifically the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and biliary tree. It was a subspecialty of gastroenterology but later on made a field of its own. Some of the conditions managed by hepatologist include viral hepatitis and diseases secondary to excessive alcohol intake like cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. (8, 9, and 10)
#20 – Immunologist
An immunologist is a doctor that treats and manages immune-related disorders such as allergies and autoimmune-related conditions. Basically, anything that has something to do with the immune system is a concern of an immunologist.
#21 – Infectious Disease Specialist
An infectious disease specialist is the same as the internal medicine doctor. Such a doctor is an expert in diagnosing and treating infectious-related diseases. Basically, all kinds of infectious disease are addressed by infectious disease specialists such as those caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. People with HIV and AIDS see an infectious disease specialist.
#22 -Internal Medicine Specialists
They are doctors specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of adults. They are the one responsible for providing long-term and comprehensive care of various types of diseases including the common and complex diseases.
#23 -Medical Geneticist
They are health professionals dedicated to using and interpreting genetic information. They use it to improve the health of the patient, their immediate family, and the community as a whole. They deal with genetic and hereditary disorders such as gene defects. Their expertise helps the family to cope with genetic disorders. Some medical geneticists specialize in a particular population such as adults, children, and patients with neurologic disorders. Some of the tasks performed by medical geneticist include the following:
- Comes up with a diagnostic workup for rare and inherited conditions.
- Provide genetic evaluation of hereditary genetic conditions.
- Educates patients and their immediate family about familial diseases. (1, 2, 3, and 4)
#24 – Microbiologists
They are scientists specializing in microscopic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae. Their primary role is to study and monitor the progression of microbes. There are various specializations such as microbiology, food, virology, and mycology. Those specializing in microbial diseases are called medical microbiologists. Those who work closely with virus-related diseases are called virologists.
#25 – Neonatologist
A neonatologist is a medical professional trained to handle the most complex neonatal conditions. He/she is the one who sees newborn with premature or serious illness including injury or birth defect. If the problem is detected even before the baby is born, the neonatologist will be involved in prenatal care. To become a neonatologist, the doctor should undergo three years of residency training in general pediatrics and another three years of training in newborn intensive care. (4, 5, and 6)
#26 – Nephrologists
A doctor specializing in kidney care and kidney-related diseases is called a nephrologist. Nephrologists are also called kidney doctors. They are internal medicine doctors but later on undergo specialized training in kidney-related diseases. Some of the conditions treated by nephrologist are chronic kidney disease, acute renal failure, polycystic kidney disease, and kidney stones. To become a nephrologist, an internal medicine doctor should complete two to three years of fellowship in nephrology.
#27 – Neurologist
A neurologist diagnoses, treats, and manages conditions that have something to do with the brain, spine, and the entire nervous system. Some of the conditions treated by a neurologist include headache, migraine, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, epilepsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and brain cancer, to name a few.
#28 – Neurosurgeons
A neurosurgeon diagnoses, treats and manages central and peripheral nervous system disorders like stroke, congenital anomalies, and vascular disorder. To become a neurosurgeon, the doctor should complete a total of five to seven years of residency program in neurosurgery. (5, 7)
#29 – Obstetrician
A medical professional specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, and the entire reproductive system of women is called obstetrician or OB/GYN. He/she takes care of the patient throughout the pregnancy, follow-up care, and annual Pap test. To become an obstetrician, the doctor should complete a four-year residency program in obstetrics and gynecology.
#30 – Oncologist
People suffering from cancer see an oncologist. Such medical doctor provides medical care for cancer patients including explaining the diagnosis and stage of cancer, addressing the available treatment plans, and giving the patient quality and compassionate care.
#31 – Ophthalmologist
An ophthalmologist takes care of the person’s eyes and vision. He/she performs surgery too. The total medical training for an ophthalmologist lasts for at least eight years. Ophthalmologists prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses too. (9, 10)
#32- Orthopedic Surgeon
Orthopedic surgeons diagnose, treat, manage, and prevent bone-related conditions including the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Orthopedic surgeons are generalists but some specialize in certain areas of the body like hip and knee, shoulder and elbow, hand, spine, and foot and ankle. Surgery is always the last resort and could only be done if other treatment and management modalities failed.
#34 – Primatologist
A primatologist is a person who works closely with non-human primates in different capacities like anthropological, biological, and psychological. Primatologists usually work in the zoos and domesticated environments for animals. Some work in laboratories to assess the biological background of apes and human-like primates. (4, 5, and 7)
#35 – Parasitologist
A person studying parasites and the parasitic lifestyle as a whole is called a parasitologist. It is a diverse field of study.
#36 – Pathologists
A doctor specializing in body fluids and tissues is called a pathologist. He/she is the one who performs laboratory procedure to diagnose and monitor the patient’s health condition. A pathologist is also the one examining the tissue biopsy to find out if the tissue is benign or malignant.
#37 – Pediatrician
A doctor who is deeply involved in the health and well-being of children is called a pediatrician. In layman’s term, a pediatrician is called a children’s doctor. Pediatrician works in the hospital, private practice, and clinics. The patients vary from infant, children, adolescents, to young adults.
#38 – Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgeons are medical professionals that improve the appearance of a person. Some of the procedures performed by a plastic surgeon include a nose job, facelift, and reconstructive surgeries in patients who sustained injuries from a tragic accident. Birth defects can be improved by plastic surgeons too. (3, 5)
They are biological scientists studying the functions of plants and animals under normal circumstances as well as the impact of human life on such species. They study the entire organism or a molecular or cellular level. They usually work in laboratories.
#40 – Physiatrist
A psychiatrist is a medical professional specializing in psychiatry; a branch of medicine that tackles mental-related disorders including diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. A psychiatrist is somewhat related to a psychologist; the former is a doctor while the latter need not be a doctor. To thoroughly and accurately assess and manage mental illness, the psychiatrist needs to undergo length training, especially in a bio-psycho-social approach.
#41 – Podiatrists
A podiatrist is a medical professional specializing in the treatment and management of foot-related disorders including the ankle and the structures of the leg. The training a podiatrist has is the same as that of other physicians. A three-year hospital residency training is needed and a complete fellowship training after residency. (3, 6, 8, and 9)
#42 – Pulmonologist
Problems with the respiratory system are taken care of by pulmonologists. The training is the same as other physicians including three-year residency and two-year fellowship following residency. Pulmonologists work in the hospital setting, intensive care units, and private offices.
#43 – Radiologists
A radiologist is a medical professional that specializes in diagnosing and treating medical conditions with the use of medical imaging procedures such as CT scan, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to name a few. A radiologist needs to complete at least 13 years of training, which consists of medical school, residency, and fellowship.
#44 – Reproductive Endocrinologist
Reproductive endocrinologists are also called fertility doctors. They are the ones performing in vitro fertilization and egg freezing. They are actually OB/GYN who underwent training to provide fertility treatment. They treat infertility, abnormalities of the reproductive system, and polycystic ovary syndrome, to name a few.
#45 – Rheumatologist
A medical doctor specializing in rheumatic diseases is called a rheumatologist. Basically, diseases that have something to do with the muscles, joints, and bones leading the patient to suffer pain stiffness, swelling, and deformity. To become a rheumatologist, the doctor must attend a residency training in internal medicine or pediatrics followed by a two to three-year rheumatology fellowship. To become a full-fledged rheumatologist, the doctor must pass the examination to become board-certified. The exam has to be retaken every ten years. (2, 7, and 10)
#46 – Surgeon
Surgeons perform minor and major surgical procedures. The purpose of the surgery is to repair, replace, or diagnose diseases. The surgical procedure may last for a few minutes to hours depending on the extent and severity of the patient’s condition. Surgeons need to undergo extensive training, which typically lasts between five and seven years.
#47 – Urologist
Urologists are medical professionals that look after men’s reproductive health. They diagnose, treat, and manage problems of the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and the adrenal glands. They also deal with issues affecting the penis, prostate gland, and testicles. To become a urologist, doctors need to complete at least five years of specialty training.
#48 – Veterinarian
A doctor who looks after the welfare of animals is called a veterinarian. Veterinarians are experts on various aspects of animal care. You can see them in small animal clinics, research facilities, government organizations, research facilities, specialty hospitals, pet food and drug manufacturing companies, and universities.