Once you’ve decided to study medicine, there are a number of specialities you can pursue. There are multiple types of physicians you can choose to become depending upon your interest and affinity to certain subjects during your time in medical college. You can choose a speciality that you are most passionate about.
Whatever your decision may be, the demand for physicians is always high in society. The earnings are also extremely good for those who pursue a speciality. For those of you who might still be confused about what to do, below is a list of physicians with their types, hopefully making it easier for you to choose from.
1. Family Physicians
A family physician is a doctor who provides care for families across all ages, gender and for a number of common ailments. After completing their M.D., this group of physicians receives additional training in the broader aspects of primary care. They train in paediatrics, general medicine and emergency medicine, to name a few fields. They usually diagnose illnesses and provide care and a course of action in case of minor or major ailments or refer patients to specialists when needed.
Internists are doctors who practice internal medicine, which deals with diagnoses and treatments of various broad ailments that usually affect adults. Family physicians and internists might sometimes be tagged together, but they are actually two different types of physicians. An internist deals only with adult patients, while family doctors deal with both adults and children. They are also trained in broad sub-specialities, including cardiology, allergy and immunology, endocrinology, infectious diseases, haematology, gastroenterology and pulmonology.
3. Internal Medicine Physicians
This type of physician performs the crucial function of assessing and treating patients in the emergency department of a hospital. Whatever the ailment, sickness or injury, this kind of a doctor’s job is to ensure that the patient is stabilized. He or she then decides what course of action will be best for the patient, such as referring them to another specialist or suggesting an emergency procedure, like surgery. This speciality is extremely demanding as such doctors might have to deal with a number of patients at the same time. The physician demand in the emergency department is high, but so are the monetary and job-satisfaction wise rewards.
Doctors who administer anaesthesia to patients have to prepare a plan for the same and monitor them during crucial surgeries. They are called anesthesiologists. One might think why putting people to sleep is a medical speciality, but the work is highly sensitive and crucial. Patients need to be given just the right dose and amount of anaesthesia, and different peoples’ doses and needs will vary. Even a fraction more can be dangerous and if administered less, it could lead to various other problems. Anesthesiologists also take care of pain management, which is a complex science involving specialized training. This is one of the most in-demand medical specialities.
5. Infectious Disease Physicians
At no other point in recent history has the speciality of infectious diseases been more prominent. The coronavirus has thrown the world upside down, but ailments like influenza, SARS, and viruses have been in the headlines even before the pandemic. Year after year, these viruses have lead to increasing demand for physicians in the field. The field is also called infectiology and requires doctors to diagnose and treat highly complex infections. Since they spread at a rapid pace, infectious disease physicians’ work involves the treatment of not only a single person but also entire communities.
One consults a cardiologist for any medical consultation and treatment that involves the heart and other related parts, such as the arteries and blood vessels. This is a lucrative medical speciality. One reason for this is the increasingly high number of patients who suffer from various cardiovascular ailments such as blood pressure, hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart strokes, etc. Unfortunately, these numbers don’t seem to be going down anytime soon given today’s stressful lifestyle. Therefore, the demand for physicians who pursue this particular speciality is always high.
Closely related to cardiology is the pulmonary speciality, which encompasses not just the heart but also the lungs and other related parts related to the process of breathing. Pulmonologists, as they are called, diagnose and treat asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer. More and more people are now falling prey to pulmonary diseases mainly because of the deterioration of the environment around us. Pollution levels in the air and other elements are at an all-time high, having a direct effect on our bodies.
Humans might have progressed throughout the ages in terms of technology and the standard of living, but this has also brought about an explosion of mental health issues like never before. So, there are doctors who diagnose and treat a wide range of emotional and behavioural problems. They are called psychiatrists. These issues include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to name a few. Psychiatrists are one of the highest doctors in demand in the long list of physicians. Psychiatric treatment is usually done through various means such as psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, hospitalization and medication to achieve the desired results.
This category of doctors is trained to treat ailments with the use of medical or diagnostic imaging technology or radiology. This involves the use of pictures and images of parts of the body through technology. They include X-ray tests, computed tomography or CT scans, positron emission tomography or PET scans, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans and ultrasounds. Radiology is one of the most in-demand medical specialities and physicians who pursue this area are also one of the highest earners. Their services are used by departments of every speciality, from oncologists to orthopaedists—to help diagnose and monitor cancers and prepare an action plan for correction or surgical procedures, respectively.
Physicians who specialize in the treatment of illnesses experienced by children are called paediatricians. The definition of children here includes infants, toddlers, school-going age and even those in high school. There are a number of common illnesses among children such as influenza, asthma and chickenpox, to name a few. The approach to treating them is not the same as that in adults; paediatricians are trained differently to handle such cases. They are one of the most sought after physicians among the different types of doctors and crucial in providing primary care since they are broadly trained in various specialities.
Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in any condition related to the skin, hair and nails. From treating pimples, acne and rashes to diagnosing skin cancer, the work of a dermatologist covers many areas and sub-fields of medicine.
The digestive system of the body is a maze of organs. Digestive organs such as the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts or pancreas require a doctor who has spent years studying their ins and outs. A gastroenterologist is a special doctor one goes to in case of any problems related to any of these parts. The diseases usually associated with this system are cancer, hepatitis, colitis, heartburn, peptic ulcer disease, gallbladder infections, biliary tract disease, pancreatitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Get the best at AUA
At the American University of Antigua College of Medicine or AUA, the M.D. program has been designed so that students have the option and are well prepared to pursue any specialities. Classroom learning is hands-on, more personal since they are broken into small groups. Things are more on the practical side. More importantly, AUA has tie-ups and associations with well-renowned institutions and hospitals in the U.S. and around the world. As part of their program, students have to undertake clinical rotations in these places, hone their skills, and learn more about the different types of physicians they would eventually become.