Specialty (medicine)

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia

A medical specialty in the field of healthcare is a particular branch of medical practice that a physician focuses on during and after their residency. Specialization enables healthcare professionals to concentrate their skills and knowledge on specific areas of medicine, enhancing the quality of care delivered to patients.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Specialization in medicine emerged with advances in medical science and technology, leading to the evolution of distinct disciplines within medicine. Each specialty focuses on a unique area of patient care, disease management, types of diseases, age group, or method of treatment.

Postgraduate Medical Training[edit | edit source]

Upon completing medical school, graduates usually pursue further training in a particular specialty through a residency program. This stage of medical education involves supervised practice in a clinical setting, allowing physicians to gain experience and competence in their chosen field. The length of residency varies based on the specialty, generally ranging from three to seven years.

Types of Specialties[edit | edit source]

There are various specialties and sub-specialties in medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes 24 broad specialty areas, including internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, radiology, pathology, psychiatry, and more. Each of these primary specialties may further encompass numerous sub-specialties. For instance, internal medicine includes subspecialties like cardiology, gastroenterology, and infectious diseases.

Role of Medical Specialists[edit | edit source]

Medical specialists play a critical role in healthcare delivery. They offer expert care to patients with complex health conditions that general practitioners may not handle. Often, these professionals engage in research and teaching in addition to patient care, contributing to the advancement of their respective fields.

Trends in Medical Specialization[edit | edit source]

Over the years, there's been an increasing trend toward medical specialization globally, reflecting advancements in medical knowledge and technology. This trend has implications for healthcare delivery, workforce planning, and medical education.

Specialties that are common world-wide[edit | edit source]

Specialty Can be subspecialty of Diagnostic (D) or therapeutic (T) specialty Surgical (S) or internal medicine specialty (I) Age range of patients Organ-based (O) or technique-based (T)
Allergy and Immunology Paediatrics or Internal medicine Both I All O
Anaesthetics None T I or S All T
Pathology None D Neither All T
Cardiology Internal medicine T I Adults O
Paediatric cardiology Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Cardiothoracic surgery General surgery T S Adults O
Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy None T I Paediatric O
Clinical neurophysiology Neurology D I All Both
Dermato-Venereology None T I All O
Emergency Medicine Anaesthetics T & D I All Both
Endocrinology Internal medicine T I Adults O
Gastroenterology Internal medicine T I Adults O
General Practice None Both Neither All ages Multidisciplinary
Geriatrics Internal medicine T I Geriatric Multidisciplinary
Gynaecology and obstetrics None T S All O
Health Informatics None T & D Neither All Multidisciplinary
Infectious diseases Internal medicine T & D I Variable Neither
Internal Medicine None T I Adults Neither
Interventional Radiology Radiology T & D Both All Multidisciplinary
Vascular medicine Internal medicine T I Adults O
Microbiology None D I All T
Nephrology Internal medicine T I Adults O
Neurology Internal medicine T I Adults O
Neurosurgery Surgery T S All O
Nuclear medicine None D & T I All T
Occupational medicine None T I Working age Multidisciplinary
Ophthalmology None T S All O
Orthopaedics General surgery T S All O
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Several T S All O
Otorhinolaryngology None T S All O
Paediatrics None T I Paediatric Neither
Paediatric allergology Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric endocrinology and diabetes Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric haematology and oncology Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric infectious diseases Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Neonatology Paediatrics T I Neonatal Neither
Paediatric Nephrology Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric respiratory medicine Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric rheumatology Paediatrics T I Paediatric O
Paediatric surgery General Surgery T S Paediatric O
Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine None T I Adults Multidisciplinary
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery General surgery T S All O
Pneumology Internal medicine T I Adults O
Psychiatry Internal medicine T I Adults T
Public Health None Neither Neither All T
Radiology None D & T I All T
Neuroradiology Radiology D & T I All Both
Radiotherapy (unknown) T Unknown Unknown T
General surgery None T S Variable T
Urology General surgery T S All O
Vascular surgery General surgery T S All O

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Medicine - Specialties and subspecialties

Cardiac surgery - Cardiothoracic surgery - Colorectal surgery - Ophthalmology - General surgery - Neurosurgery - Oral and maxillofacial surgery - Orthopedic surgery - Hand surgery - Otolaryngology - ENT - Pediatric surgery - Plastic surgery - Reproductive surgery - Surgical oncology - Transplant surgery - Trauma surgery - Urology - Andrology - Vascular surgery

Medicine Internal medicine - Allergy / Immunology - Angiology - Cardiology - Endocrinology - Gastroenterology - Hepatology - Geriatrics - Hematology - Hospital medicine - Infectious disease - Nephrology - Oncology - Pulmonology - Rheumatology
Obstetrics and gynaecology Gynaecology - Gynecologic oncology - Maternal–fetal medicine - Obstetrics - Reproductive endocrinology and infertility - Urogynecology
Diagnostic Radiology - Interventional radiology - Nuclear medicine - Pathology - Anatomical - Clinical pathology - Clinical chemistry - Cytopathology - Medical microbiology - Transfusion medicine
Other specialties Addiction medicine - Adolescent medicine - Anesthesiology - Dermatology - Disaster medicine - Diving medicine - Emergency medicine - Family medicine - General practice - Hospital medicine - Intensive care medicine - Medical genetics - Narcology - Neurology - Clinical neurophysiology - Occupational medicine - Ophthalmology - Oral medicine - Pain management - Palliative care - Pediatrics - Neonatology - Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) - Preventive medicine - Psychiatry -Addiction psychiatry - Radiation oncology - Reproductive medicine - Sexual medicine - Sleep medicine - Sports medicine - Transplantation medicine - Tropical medicine - Travel medicine - Venereology
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD