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Medical Specialities

Medical Specialities

General Medicine

General Medicines are highly trained specialists who provide a range of non-surgical health care to adult patients. They care for difficult, serious or unusual medical problems and continue to see the patient until these problems have resolved or stabilized.

Much of their work takes place with hospitalized patients and most general physicians also see patients in their consulting rooms.

Their broad range of expertise differentiates General Physicians from other specialists who limit their medical practice to problems involving only one body system or to a special area of medical knowledge.

ROLES OF A GENERAL Medicine CONSULTANT

General Medicines are consultants who care for patients with special or difficult problems. General physicians only see patients who are referred to them by other doctors, usually by the patient's own general practitioner.

Global Approach: Whether the referral identifies one health problem or many, the general physician's assessment is always comprehensive. This global approach enables problems to be detected and diagnostic possibilities to be considered which might otherwise be missed.

Complex Care: General physicians are especially trained to care for patients with complex illnesses, in which the diagnosis may be difficult. The general physician's broad training provides expertise in diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting different body systems in a patient. They are also trained to deal with social and psychological impact of disease.

Procedures: General physicians are trained to carry out a variety of medical procedures for the diagnosis and management of patients with severe and complex illnesses.

Diagnosis: General physicians have special training in the usefulness, limitations and costs of most diagnostic tests. General physicians use diagnostic tests logically, safely and effectively to investigate difficult diagnostic problems.

Treatment: General physicians are trained in the critical analysis of research reports and drug industry claims about new treatments. They are knowledgeable about complex interactions of medications given simultaneously to treat multiple illnesses in a patient. The general physician has special expertise in making treatment decisions to help patients with complex and serious illnesses.

Pre- and Post-operative assessment: General physicians are frequently asked to review patients before surgery. They advise surgeons of a patient's risk status and can recommend appropriate management to minimize the risk of the operation. They can also assist in postoperative care and ongoing medical problems or complications.

General Surgery

1. General surgery is a discipline that requires knowledge of and responsibility for the preoperative, operative, and postoperative management of patients with a broad spectrum of diseases, including those which may require non-operative, elective, or emergency surgical treatment. The breadth and depth of this knowledge may vary by disease category. Surgical management requires skill in complex decision making; general surgeons should be competent in diagnosis as well as treatment and management, including operative intervention.

2. The certified general surgeon demonstrates broad knowledge and experience in conditions affecting the:

Alimentary Tract

Abdomen and its Contents

Breast, Skin and Soft Tissue

Endocrine System

In addition, the certified general surgeon demonstrates broad knowledge and experience in:

Surgical Critical Care

Surgical Oncology

Trauma

3. The field of general surgery as a specialty comprises, but is not limited to, the performance of operations and procedures relevant to the content areas listed above. It is expected that the certified surgeon will also have additional knowledge and experience relevant to the above areas in the following categories:

Related disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, epidemiology, immunology, and pathology (including neoplasia).

Clinical care domains, including wound healing; infection and antibiotic usage; fluid and electrolyte management; transfusion and disorders of coagulation; shock and resuscitation; metabolism and nutrition; minimally invasive and endoscopic intervention (including colonoscopy and upper endoscopy); appropriate use and interpretation of radiologic diagnostic and therapeutic imaging; and pain management.

4. The certified general surgeon also is expected to have knowledge and skills for diseases requiring team-based interdisciplinary care, including related leadership competencies. Certified general surgeons additionally must possess knowledge of the unique clinical needs of the following specific patient groups:

Terminally ill patients, to include palliative care and pain management; nutritional deficiency; cachexia in patients with malignant and chronic conditions; and counseling and support for end-of-life decisions and care.

Morbidly obese patients, to include metabolic derangements; surgical and non-surgical interventions for weight loss (bariatrics); and counseling of patient and families.

Geriatric surgical patients, to include management of comorbid chronic diseases.

Culturally diverse and vulnerable patient populations.

5. In some circumstances, the certified general surgeon provides care in the following disease areas. However, comprehensive knowledge and management of conditions in these areas generally requires additional training.

Vascular Surgery

Pediatric Surgery

Thoracic Surgery

Burns

Solid Organ Transplantation

In unusual circumstances, the certified general surgeon may provide care for patients with problems in adjacent fields such as obstetrics and gynecology, urology, and hand surgery.

Dermatology

A dermatologist is the medical expert you should consult if you have any significant problem with your skin. Dermatology is the science that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair and nails.

Dermatology involves but is not limited to study, research, and diagnosis of normal and disorders, diseases, cancers, cosmetic and ageing conditions of the skin, fat, hair, nails and oral and genital membranes, and the management of these by different investigations and therapies, including but not limited to dermatohistopathology, topical and systemic medications, dermatologic surgery and dermatologic cosmetic surgery, immunotherapy, phototherapy, laser therapy, radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy.

How many people get skin disease?

The skin is the largest and most visible organ of the body. It reflects the health of the body and acts as a barrier against injury and bacteria. Unfortunately, at one time or another, nearly everyone has some type of skin disease - infants, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. One in six (15%) of all visits to the family doctor (GP) involves a skin problem.

What are the most common skin disorders?

Common skin diseases include

Skin cancer

Warts

Fungal infections

Dermatitis

Psoriasis - a skin disorder

Acne affects every teenager to one degree or another.

Hand dermatitis, resulting from external contact with detergents and household chemicals, affects most women with young families.

One in six of all children develop atopic eczema

One in five persons suffers from cold sores (herpes simplex).

Radiology

Radiology is a medical specialty that uses imaging to diagnose and treat diseases seen within the body. Radiologists use a variety of imaging techniques such as X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine including positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose and/or treat diseases.

Find out more about radiology techniques.

Interventional radiology is the performance of (usually minimally invasive) medical procedures with the guidance of imaging technologies.

Find out more about interventional radiology.

The radiology department may also be called the X-ray or imaging department. It is the facility in the hospital where radiological examinations of patients are carried out, using the range of equipment listed above.

What is a radiologist?

A radiologist is a specially trained doctor who interprets diagnostic imaging to guide the management of disease. If you have an interventional procedure (such as an angiogram or biopsy) a specially trained radiologist called an interventional radiologist will perform the procedure. Radiologists provide a scan report which is then sent to your doctor.

What is a radiographer?

A diagnostic radiographer is a person who has been trained to take your X-ray or perform your MRI or CT scan. If trained to perform an ultrasound a radiographer is known as a sonographer. Radiographers also support a radiologist in performing interventional procedures.

Diagnostic radiographers employ a range of techniques to produce high quality images to diagnose disease. Some radiographers are also trained to provide reports on X-ray imaging.

The identification and monitoring of diseases, skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities and trauma are the major focus of diagnostic radiography.

Cardiology

Cardiology is a medical specialty and a branch of internal medicine concerned with disorders of the heart. It deals with the diagnosis and treatment of such conditions as congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, electrophysiology, heart failure and valvular heart disease. Subspecialties of the cardiology field include cardiac electrophysiology, echocardiography, interventional cardiology and nuclear cardiology.

Cardiovascular system:

The basic functioning of the cardiovascular system includes the way the heart processes oxygen and nutrients in the blood, which is called coronary circulation. The circulation system consists of coronary arteries and coronary veins.

There are a range of disorders of the cardiovascular system that are treated and studied under the field of cardiology. Among them are acute coronary syndrome, which encompasses the broad range of myocardial infarction symptoms. Angina pectoris, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and restenosis are other common disorders. Broader categories of disorders in the field of cardiology include cardiac arrest; disorders of the myocardium, or the muscle of the heart, which include varieties of cardiomyopathy disorders of the pericardium, or the outer lining of the heart, which include types of pericarditis disorders of the heart valves, including the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the pulmonary valve and the tricuspid valve; congenital heart defects, which range from atrial septal defect to ventricular septal defect; diseases of the blood vessels, or vascular diseases, which includes aneurysm, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, vasculitis and diseases of other blood vessels.

Several devices are used in cardiology, including various types of balloons and defibrillators, a pacemaker, and a stethoscope. Artificial hearts also are used and studied in the field of cardiology.

Urology

Urology is the medical specialty concerned with the function and disorders of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. Physicians who specialize in urology are called urologists and are concerned with the normal functioning of the urinary tract system and male reproductive organs and any changes that affect these systems.

The diseases and disorders of the urinary tract and reproductive organs can affect multiple places in the body including the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder and the urethra. Some of the more common conditions urologists treat are:

Enlarged Prostate or BPH

Cancers of the Urinary Tract

Infertility in Men

Interstitial Cystitis

Kidney Stones

Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder

Prostatitis

Sexual Dysfunction in Men

Urinary Tract Infections

Urologists undergo post-graduate training for five years, completing 12 months in general surgery and 36 months in clinical urology. The remaining time is spent training in general surgery, clinical urology or a discipline that is relevant to urology. There are several specialist areas that can be practiced after completion of a urology degree. Some of these include:

Endourology:

Endourology deals with the closed manipulation of the urinary tract. The field has grown to now include minimally invasive surgical procedures. Procedures are carried out using endoscopes inserted into the urinary tract and examples include prostate surgery, stone removal surgery and simple urethral or ureteral surgeries.

Urologic oncology:

This deals with genitourinary malignancies such as cancers of the kidney, adrenal glands, prostate, bladder, ureters, testicles or penis.

Neurourology:

Neurourology concerns the management of conditions that involve the nervous control of the genitourinary system or abnormal urination. Examples of neurological conditions that may lead to these conditions include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and spinal cord injuries.

Pediatric urology:

This involves the correction of genitourinary problems arising in children such as undescended testes or cryptorchidism, underdeveloped genitalia and vesicoureteral reflux.

Andrology:

Andrology focuses on disorders of the male reproductive system such as erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory disorders, infertility and vasectomy reversal.

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology is an area of medicine that focuses on the health of the digestive system, or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastroenterologists can treat everything from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to hepatitis C. Here’s a look at what these specialists do and when you should consider seeing one.

What is a gastroenterologist?

They perform endoscopic procedures, in which they use specialized instruments to view the GI tract and make a diagnosis. They don’t perform surgery. In some cases, they may work closely with a GI surgeon. They primarily work in clinic or hospital settings.

The GI system:

Digests and moves food

Absorbs nutrients

Removes waste from your body

Gastroenterologists can treat any part of this system.

Although the GI system includes the mouth, these specialists generally don’t provide care or services here. Instead, dentists and dental specialists focus on the health of the oral cavity.

Other parts of the GI system include the:

Pharynx

Esophagus

Stomach

Small intestine

Large intestine

Liver

Gallbladder

Pancreas

Salivary glands

Tongue

Epiglottis

Rectum

Anus

What is gastroenterology?

Gastroenterology is a specialized area of medicine that focuses on the GI tract. Some gastroenterologists treat general diseases of the GI. Others focus on a particular type of gastroenterology.

Some possible areas of emphasis are:

Hepatology, which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas

Pancreatic disease

Transplantation

Inflammatory bowel disease, or chronic inflammation of your digestive tract

Gastrointestinal cancer

Endoscopic surveillance

Reflux esophagitis, which is commonly due to gastroesophageal reflux disease