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32 Common Physician Specialties

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24 Questions

What is the main focus of an allergist/immunologist?

Treating allergies and immunologic disorders

What is the primary role of an anesthesiologist during surgery?

Managing patient pain and vital signs

What is the specialization of cardiologists?

Treatment of the heart and its blood vessels

What is one of the procedures gastroenterologists may commonly perform?


What do dermatologists often do in addition to treating medical conditions?

Conducting aesthetic procedures

Which providers are usually the first to recognize major health problems and refer patients to specialists when needed?

Family practice physicians

What does an endocrinologist specialize in treating?

Hormonal conditions

What type of cancers do hematologists specialize in treating?

Leukemia and lymphoma

What is the primary focus of a urologist's medical practice?

Diseases of the bladder and urethra

What is the main focus of orthopedists or orthopedic surgeons?

Musculoskeletal system conditions

Which field of medicine is associated with the treatment of head and neck cancers?


What do pathologists specialize in investigating?

Cause and effect of disease and injury

What is the primary role of plastic surgeons?

Performing cosmetic surgery

Which medical professional treats problems related to the foot, ankle, and lower leg?


What does a pulmonologist specialize in treating?

Respiratory diseases

What is the main focus of a psychiatrist's work?

Mental health

What type of therapy do psychotherapists commonly use to help people with mental health challenges?

Talk therapy

What is the primary focus of radiologists in the medical field?

Analysis of imaging studies

Which medical professional treats autoimmune and inflammatory diseases of the musculoskeletal system?


What is a common condition treated by rheumatologists?


What is the main focus of a hospice and palliative medicine specialist?

Managing pain and improving quality of life

Which of these conditions could be treated by a sleep medicine specialist?


What does an obstetrician specialize in?

Delivering babies

What type of cancers do gynecologic oncologists primarily deal with?

Cancers of female reproductive organs

Study Notes

Medical Specialties

  • There are over 32 common physician specialties, each with its own focus and responsibilities.

Plastic Surgery

  • Plastic surgeons specialize in changing a person's appearance.
  • They can perform plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons or to improve a person's well-being and ability to function.
  • Examples of plastic surgery include correcting a cleft palate to improve breathing or speaking.


  • Podiatrists treat problems with the foot, ankle, and lower leg.
  • They must complete four years of education in a specialized podiatric medical school and a two-year residency.
  • Treatments may include osteoarthritis in the ankle, diabetic foot disorders, foot and ankle injuries, skin and nail conditions of the foot, and foot deformities like flat feet and hammertoe.


  • Pulmonologists treat the cardio-pulmonary system, including the heart, lungs, and organs involved in the respiratory process.
  • They may work in office settings to treat patients with breathing disorders, severe allergies, lung problems, and other respiratory diseases.
  • Pulmonologists attend medical school followed by an internal medicine residency and fellowship training for pulmonology.


  • Psychiatrists specialize in mental health.
  • They treat emotional and behavioral problems through a combination of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, medication, and hospitalization.
  • Psychiatrists attend medical school followed by a residency for psychiatry and may attend fellowships for a subspecialty such as child and adolescent psychiatry or addiction medicine.


  • Radiologists analyze test results and offer additional information or advice for further testing.
  • Radiologists must attend medical school and a residency for radiology, with the option to attend fellowship training for a subspecialty of radiology.


  • Rheumatologists treat rheumatic diseases, or autoimmune and inflammatory diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
  • The most common condition a rheumatologist treats is arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rheumatologists attend medical school, followed by a three-year basic internal medicine residency and a rheumatology fellowship.

Sleep Medicine

  • Sleep medicine specialists treat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and insomnia.
  • Sleep specialists complete a residency in another specialty such as internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, or neurology, followed by a one-year fellowship.

Other Specialties

  • Dermatologists diagnose and treat conditions that affect the hair, skin, and nails.
  • Endocrinologists treat the endocrine system, including glands that produce and secrete hormones that control and regulate nearly all of the body's functions.
  • Family practice physicians are primary care providers who see patients of all ages and provide basic care for a variety of common ailments.
  • Gastroenterologists treat the functions and diseases of the digestive system.
  • Geneticists evaluate and treat people with inherited disorders such as Huntington's disease or cystic fibrosis.
  • Hematologists specialize in diseases of the blood, including cancers of the blood such as leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Hospice and palliative medicine specialists help patients who have serious illnesses or are at the end of life.
  • Infectious disease physicians deal with infections that are hard to diagnose or treat.
  • Internists usually have more hospital-based training than family practitioners.
  • Neurologists take care of patients with medical conditions that affect the brain, spine, or nerves.
  • OB/GYNs specialize in female reproductive health, including menopause and hormone problems.
  • Oncologists attend medical school followed by an oncology residency, with the option to attend fellowships for subspecialties of oncology.
  • Ophthalmologists attend medical school followed by a residency for ophthalmology, with the option to attend fellowship training for specific eye diseases or surgical procedures.
  • Orthopedists diagnose and treat conditions of the musculoskeletal system, including the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
  • Osteopaths complete four years of basic medical school followed by three to eight years of specialty internships, residencies, and fellowships.
  • Otolaryngologists, or ENTs, handle a lot of issues, including sinus problems, allergies, head and neck cancers, and more.
  • Pathologists specialize in investigating the cause and effect of disease and injury.
  • Pediatricians provide primary health care to children, including vaccinations, general health checkups, school physicals, and treatment of issues like coughs, colds, and stomach flu.

Explore this article to learn about 32 common physician specialties, including doctors who treat allergies, skin conditions, and eye problems. Ideal for individuals interested in understanding different medical specialties or pursuing a career in medicine.

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