Adolescent Medicine specialist are medical doctors who are pediatricians, internists or family medicine doctors with additional specializations specifically in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of conditions more commonly affecting adolescent patients. They are often consulted regarding eating disorders, growth and development issues, and sexual health.
Allergists (also known as allergy and immunology doctors)
Allergist are medical doctors that are a type of medical or pediatric subspecialist. These are doctors who specialize in diagnosing, treating and managing conditions such as allergies, immune disorders and asthma.
Allopathic medicine aka allopathy refers to what is sometimes called “Western,” “conventional,” or “traditional” medicine which is the type of medicine in which drugs, surgeries and radiation is used to address symptoms. Doctors with the degree M.D. practice allopathic medicine
Attending physicians are the medical doctors who have completed training. They are they doctors that supervise interns and residents.
Audiologists are a type of NON-MEDICAL doctor that specializes in NON-MEDICAL hearing loss, particularly age-related hearing loss. Their practice focuses on diagnosis and management of hearing technology.
Board-certified is a description of a medical doctor’s credential in a particular medical specialty. A board-certified doctor is one who has completed 4 years of medical school, 3 or more years of post-graduate training in an accredited residency training program, and has passed the board-certification examination in that specialty. Doctors may also get additional board-certification in subspecialties by completing the requirements of post-residency training fellowships and board-certifications examinations.
Board-eligible is a description of a doctor’s credential in a particular medical specialty. A board-eligible doctor is one who has completed an accredited residency or fellowship program but who has not yet taken and passed the board-certification examination. Once the doctor has passed the examination the doctor is board-certified (see above).
Cancer doctors (see oncologists)
Cardiologists are a type of medical or pediatric sub-specialist. These are doctors who specialize in diagnosing, treating and managing conditions such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks and other heart disorders.
Cardiovascular surgeons are a type of surgical subspecialist. These are doctors who specialize in the surgical diagnosis, treatment and management of heart problems such as heart attacks, heart failure and heart valve problems.
Critical Care Medicine (see Intensivists)
DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery)
A DDS. degree is awarded to someone who completes dental school. This person is now a dentist. This is the same as the DMD. (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry). Which degree is given depends on the school but the education is the same.
A DEA number is an identifier assigned by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency to a licensed medical professional authorizing them to prescribe controlled substances.
Dentists are doctors of dental medicine. These doctors diagnose, treat, and manage problems with the teeth and gums
Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of skin, hair and nail disorders. They are consulted for conditions such as acne, skin cancer, rashes, wrinkles, hair loss, and nail infections.
DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine)
A DMD is a degree awarded to someone who has completed dental school. A DMD is a dentist. (See DDS)
DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)
A DO degree is given to doctors who complete osteopathic medical school. Osteopathic Doctors are licensed, prescribe and do residencies much like their MD counterparts. Theses doctors address symptoms much like those in allopathic medicine but are traditionally trained in a philosophy of addressing lifestyle and environment. DO also have training in osteopathic manipulative treatment a hands-on diagnostic and therapeutic technique.
Ears, Nose and Throat (see otolaryngologists)
Otolaryngologists are medical doctors who are surgical subspecialists who diagnose, treat, and manage disorders of the ears, nose ant throat. They are commonly consulted for conditions such as tonsillectomy, throat cancer, hearing issues, and nasal polyps.
Emergency Medicine Physicians
Emergency Medicine physicians are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of acutely unstable patients. They are commonly consulted for heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, bleeding, trauma from accidents.
Endocrinologists are medical doctors who diagnose, treat and manage disorders of the endocrine system. They are commonly consulted for conditions such as diabetes, thyroid problems, and other hormonal disorders.
Endodontists are dental subspecialists with advanced training in dental pulp (the inside of the tooth). They are consulted for root canals and tooth pain.
Eye Doctors (see ophthalmologists)
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of disease of the eye. They are consulted for conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and traumatic eye injuries.
Having a faculty appointment means that a doctor has an affiliation with an academic institution. The doctor may be an employee of the institution or a volunteer. Faculty appointments are often for teaching and research purposes. Faculty appointment positions are ranked. Example of academic ranking include the designations Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor and Instructor.
Family physicians are medical doctors who have the most general scope of practice in primary care. They specialize in the general management of patients of all ages and genders. They are consulted for conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and basic gynecological care.
Fellowship refers to the training after residency that some medical doctors pursue in subspecialties. Fellowship training may or may not be formally accredited for board-certification.
Gastroenterologists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract. They are consulted for conditions such as colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastric ulcers.
Hand surgeons are medical doctors who are subspecialists in the field of orthopedic surgery. Their practice focuses of surgery of the hands
Hematologists are medical doctors that specialize in blood disorders and disorders of blood-forming organs. Their training also often cross trained as oncologists (hematology-oncology specialists). Hematologists are consulted for condition such as sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, and lymphoma.
Hospitalists are medical doctors who specialize in the management of patients who are admitted to the hospital.
Hospital privileges indicate that the physician has been granted the right to treat and admit patients at a particular hospital. A doctor may have privileges at multiple hospitals. This is distinct from having a medical license or being board-certified.
Infectious Disease Specialists
Infections disease specialists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of infectious diseases caused by organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. They are consulted for disorders such as HIV infections, surgical infections, and multiple drug resistant tuberculosis.
An in-network physician is a medical doctor who has agreed to participate in a particular health insurance company’s plan. This means that this company’s insurance can be used as a form of payment for services provided by this medical doctor.
Intensivists (Critical Care Medicine)
Intensivists are medical doctors with specialized training in the management of critically-ill patients in the hospital. They are usually pulmonologists with advanced training, however, cardiologist and general internists who work in the hospital may also obtain this special training. Intensivists often manage patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Internship is the first year of residency training. It is predominantly hospital-based and includes inpatient and outpatient care. Internships are usually in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, or OB-GYN.
Internists (internal medicine)
Internists are medical doctors that diagnose, treat and manage the general health of adult patients. They may function as primary care doctors and/or specialize in an organ system or disease type. Internists are usually consulted for annual check-ups, sick visits, and the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.
M.D. (Medical Doctorate)
An M.D. is a professional degree bestowed on someone who has successfully completed medical school. With this designation, the individual can legitimately be called a medical doctor, physician or doctor. Having an M.D. degree is distinct from having a license or being board-certified
Medical geneticists are medical doctors that diagnose, treat, manage and counsel regarding hereditary disorders. They may be consulted for genetic testing, chromosomal disorders, and inherited metabolic disorders.
A medical license is a document issued by the government giving a medical doctor who has fulfilled the requirements permission to practice medicine in general. Medical licenses in the United States are issued by states. Having a medical license is distinct from having board-certification in a specialty.
Naturopathic Doctor or Naturopathic Medical Doctor (N.D. or N.M.D.)
Naturopathic doctors, also called Naturopathic medical doctors, are physicians who completed naturopathic medical school. Their services include a combination of traditional “Western” medicine with holistic, integrative, or Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM). Their treatments might include herbal medicine, acupuncture, and homeopathic therapies. Not all states grant licenses to N.D. physicians. They are distinct from naturopathic practitioners in that they are actual doctors.
Nephrologists are medical doctors who diagnose, treat and manage diseases of, or that affect, the kidneys. They are consulted for conditions such as kidney failure, hypertension, and diabetes.
Neurologists are medical doctors who diagnose, treat, and manage diseases of, or that affect, the neurological system. They are consulted for conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and developmental delay.
Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the surgical management of diseases of the brain and spinal cord. They are consulted for conditions such as brain tumors, back pain, and structural anomalies of these organ systems.
NPI number (National Provider Identifier Standard)
An NPI number is an identifier issued by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to individuals and organizations that might bill these insurance plans. It is often used to identify the provider in other situations.
OB-GYNs (obstetrics and gynecology)
OB-GYNs are medical doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical diagnosis, treatment and management of the female genitourinary system. They are consulted for cancer screening, infertility, female urinary incontinence, and pregnancy.
Oncologists (cancer doctors)
Oncologists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer. There are three core specialists including medical oncologists who may use chemotherapy, surgical oncologists who excise tumors, and radiation oncologists who use controlled radiation. They are consulted for conditions such as breast cancer, leukemia, and colon cancer.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors that specialize in the medical and surgical diagnosis, treatment and management of disease of the eye. They are consulted for conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and eye tumors.
Oral Surgeons (Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons)
Oral surgeons are a type of dental subspecialist that treats defects and deformities of the head, neck, mouth and jaw. After dental school, they complete a hospital-based 4 year residency program in surgery. They are consulted for tooth extraction, cleft lip, and corrective jaw surgery.
Orthodontists are dentists who subspecialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of misaligned teeth and jaws. They are consulted for braces, overbites and malocclusion.
Orthopedic surgeons are specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles). They are consulted for problems such as hip fractures, slipped disk in the back, and hand injuries.
Pain Management Specialists
Pain management specialists are doctors who specialize in the evaluation, prevention and treatment of pain. Pain medicine can be a subspecialty of anesthesia, neurology, orthopedics, or physiatry. There is also pain medicine board. Pain medicine specialists manage problems such as chronic pain, pain related to cancer and opioid addiction.
Pathologists are medical doctors who perform tests on body fluids and tissue to aid in diagnosis of disease. They also perform autopsies. Pathologists sometimes subspecialize in areas such as dermatopathology (skin), neuropathology (brain) and
Pediatric dentists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of the teeth and gums of children. They are consulted for routine examinations, tooth extractions and x-rays.
Pediatricians are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders in children. They are consulted for vaccinations, asthma, developmental delay, and diabetes.
Periodontists are dentists that specialize in the treatment of gum disease. They tend to treat more advanced cases than a general dentist.
Physiatrists (Physical medicine and rehabilitation)
Physiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders resulting in physical impairment and disability. They work with patients with conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, and neuromuscular disorders.
A physician extender is a licensed health professional who is NOT a doctor, such as a physician assistant (also know as physician associate) or a nurse practitioner who can prescribe medication and typically works under the supervision of a physician. The scope of practice of physician extenders varies from state-to-state.
Plastic Surgeons are medical doctors that specialize in the surgical diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions affecting the skin and soft tissues. They are consulted for both medical and cosmetic problems including breast reduction, scar revision surgery, nose jobs, and bed sores.
Podiatrists are medical doctors that specialized in the medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the feet and ankles. They are consulted for conditions such as bunions, orthotics, and foot deformities.
Primary Care (internists, family doctors, pediatricians)
Primary care physicians are the group of medical doctors who are usually a person’s main doctor and usually provide the first point of contact with the medical system. They are usually internists, family doctors and pediatricians, but sometimes people include OB-GYNs in this category. They are usually sought for general check ups, diagnosis of unknown medical problems, and management of chronic diseases.
Prosthodontists are dentist who specialize in replacing missing structures in the mouth and jaw. They may be consulted for cosmetic work, tooth implants, and TMJ
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of mental, emotions and addictive disorders. Unlike other types of mental health therapists (psychologists, psychotherapists and social workers), psychiatrists, being doctors, are licensed to prescribe medications. They are consulted for problems such as depression, schizophrenia, and opioid addiction.
Pulmonologists are a type of medical or pediatric subspecialists who diagnoses, treats and manages conditions pertaining to the lungs. They are sometimes consulted for conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and tuberculosis.
Radiation Oncologist (see oncologists)
Radiation oncologists are medical doctors that specialize in the treatment of cancer with the controlled use of radiation. They are one of three types of core cancer specialists (in addition to medical and surgical oncologists.
Radiologists are medical doctors who specialize in using imaging technology to diagnose, and sometimes treat, a variety of medical conditions. They are sometimes consulted to diagnose conditions such as breast cancer, pneumonia, and bone fractures.
Reproductive endocrinologists (infertility specialists)
Reproductive endocrinologists are medical doctors in the subspecialty of gynecology who diagnose, treat, and manage problems of infertility in both women and men. They are consulted for invitro fertilization, hormonal infertility and to reverse vasectomies.
Residency training is the period after a medical doctor has completed school during which they obtain specialized knowledge and skill in an accredited training program.
Rheumatologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of autoimmune and joint diseases. They are sometimes consulted for conditions such as arthritis or lupus.
Scope of Practice
Scope of Practice refers to the activities a health professional is allowed to participate in that are in keeping within the terms with their license. A doctor and a nurse are both licensed, however, each has a different scope of practice.
Sleep Medicine Specialists
Sleep medicine specialists are doctors who diagnose, treat and manage problems with sleep. Doctors have a primary specialty of anesthesia, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry or otolaryngology. They are consulted from problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome.
Sports Medicine Specialists
Sports medicine specialists are doctors who treat athletes- both professional and amateur. They may be orthopedists, physical medicine or primary care physicians. They are consulted for sport-related injuries, nutrition, performance maximization.
Surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the surgical diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions affecting a variety of organ systems. Surgeons are consulted for conditions such as appendicitis, breast cancer, and the removal of both benign and malignant lesions from soft tissue. Many surgeons get additional training in subspecialty areas such cardiothoracic surgery, plastic surgery or vascular surgery.
Travel Medicine Specialists
Travel medicine specialists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of medical conditions associated with travel. They are consulted for vaccinations, care management strategy, and prophylactic treatment for travelers. They are usually trained in a specialty such as internal medicine or emergency medicine.
Urologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and the medical and surgical management of conditions involving the genitourinary system. They are consulted for conditions such as erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and penile cancer.
Vascular surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of the vascular system. Vascular surgery is a surgical subspecialty. They are consulted for conditions such as aortic aneurysm, varicose veins, and stroke prevention.