The field of medicine is quite vast with many different types of healthcare and medical professions. Some of these professionals are doctors who are trained in surgery in their specific field, while others treat patients in their field, but are not trained to perform surgery. Whether you are looking for a career as a non-surgical doctor or you’re just wondering what types of doctors don’t do surgery, this article provides some insights.
Types of Non-Surgical Doctors
Doctors who perform surgeries are known as surgeons, and those who don’t are known as physicians. All surgeons are physicians, but all physicians are not surgeons. Both are experts in their respective fields, the only difference being in the types of treatment they provide. Some types of non-surgical doctors are:
- Internal Medicine
Internal medicine doctors are primary care physicians, the doctors you first consult when the initial sign of any sickness occurs. They are one of the most common types of doctors who don’t do surgery. Within internal medicine, you can either practice inpatient or outpatient. Inpatient practice is when doctors treat patients who need to be admitted in the hospital for observation or for a more complex form of treatment. Outpatient treatment involves treating patients at a clinic or at a hospital during the brief time the appointment lasts.
- Family Medicine
Unlike internal medicine, which mostly deals with adult patients, family medicine deals with patients of all ages and treats not just one patient, but their family members as well. Family medicine focuses more on outpatient treatment, maintaining health, and preventing illnesses.
Anesthesiologists have a comparatively relaxed work schedule. Their expertise is required only at the beginning, in between, or at the end of a surgery. Unlike surgeons, they don’t need to be present throughout the surgery. Although this job looks relatively easy, it comes with its share of stress. When a patient who’s being operated on suddenly loses stability and is rapidly decompensating, anesthesiologists need to perform in a high-pressure situation and be accurate while administering anaesthesia. However, you need to be prepared to be second-in-charge in an operating theater.
Radiologists do pretty cool things like taking MRI scans and other types of imaging procedures, analysing them, and sending reports to the concerned medical specialist. You get to work with the latest technology and computers, while also having a relatively stress-free work routine.
A pathologist examines bodies, body tissues, fluids or parts of organs, and performs lab tests. Pathologists don’t interact with patients; they work behind the curtains alongside other technicians and assist medical specialists in diagnosing a disease. It’s the perfect role if interacting with patients doesn’t interest you.
Dermatologists are doctors who specialise in skin, hair, and nails. They also treat cosmetic disorders like hair loss, acne, and other skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and more. They examine patients, order lab tests, and provide treatment through medication and non-surgical remedies.
- General Medical Officer
If you want to work as a doctor in the special forces, a general medical officer is a way to go. They are referred to as surgeons, such as “dive surgeons”, but do not actually perform surgery. They receive additional training after medical school to be able to perform their duties in an unconventional setting. For example, a Navy Flight Doctor will have to be trained in flying as well as medicine in order to practice.
The first two years of medical school, which is after four years of your undergraduate degree, will focus on gaining theoretical knowledge in medicine, covering all the basics, as well as on lab work. The final two years of medicine is when you will have clinical rotations between different departments, during which you will gain practical experience under the supervision of experienced doctors. It is during these years of your medical education that you get to choose which specialisation you want to pursue further, and plan your next steps accordingly. Not all doctors want to be surgeons, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons of a surgical and non-surgical field before choosing one. However, both types of careers are equally rewarding and come with their own set of challenges.