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Allergy and Immunology
Allergists and immunologists specialize in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including asthma, anaphylaxis, food and drug allergy, insect allergy, sinusitis and immunodeficiency diseases. Services may include pulmonary function testing, skin testing with allergenic extracts, including antibiotics and stinging insects, and bronchial challenge procedures.
Anesthesiologists offer consultation to referring physicians in all areas of anesthesia, critical care and both chronic and acute pain management. They are equipped to provide anesthesia for a wide range of operations and at all levels of complexity. Anesthesiologists also are involved in such trauma-related procedures as airway management, pulmonary and cardiovascular assessment, patient resuscitation and follow-up care of patients in intensive care units.
Cardiologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Cardiology encompasses a variety of procedures and services, including cardiac catheterization, coronary angioplasty, coronary atherectomy, treatment for acute myocardial infarction, balloon angioplasty, diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, pacemaker and defibrillator implantations, management of congestive heart failure, heart transplantation and post-transplantation follow-up.
Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of all types of skin disorders, from minor to more difficult diseases. Among the more common diseases that are treated are skin tumors, psoriasis, acne, atopic dermatitis, warts and skin cancer.
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Endocrinology and metabolism focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the hormone-producing glandular and metabolic systems. Specialists treat conditions such as Cushing's syndrome, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, metabolic bone disease, diabetes mellitus, pituitary dysfunction and neuroendocrinology.
Gastroenterologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the digestive system. Specialists provide treatment and procedures such as diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, colonoscopy, stricture dilation, control of bleeding, laparoscopy with biopsies, extraction for common duct stones, endoscopic ultrasound, comprehensive nutrition evaluation, therapy of obesity and eating disorders, GI cancer screening and therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Hematology/oncology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various blood or cancer diseases and disorders. Conditions treated include lymphoma, leukemia, coagulation disorders, myeloma, breast cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, genitourinary cancer and malignant melanoma.
Infectious diseases is the study, diagnosis and treatment of complicated infectious disease problems. Areas of special concern include fever of unknown origin, nosocomial infection, infection in those with weakened immune systems, community acquired infection, and prophylaxis and treatment of infections associated with organ transplantation.
Neonatologists specialize in medical care to newborns, especially those born prematurely. Care of infants extends during the first few months after birth, as necessary.
Neurological Surgery (Neurosurgery)
Neurosurgeons specialize in the treatment of numerous types of vascular disease and neoplasms affecting the nervous system. Areas of service include pediatric neurological surgery, craniofacial reconstructive surgery, treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors, skull-base surgery, brachytherapy, aneurysm surgery, epilepsy surgery, laser surgery, micro-neurological surgery, photodynamic therapy and spinal instrumentation.
Neurologists specialize in the treatment of disorders of the nervous system, including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, stroke, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, neuromuscular disorders and sleep disorders.
Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
While many obstetricians and gynecologists focus on general primary care, specialty areas exist within the field of women's health care. Subspecialties include gynecologic oncology, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and tumors in the female genital tract; maternal/fetal medicine, specializing in the treatment of patients with medical or surgical conditions threatening either a mother or fetus; and reproductive endocrinology and infertility, dealing with the maternal female hormone system and related infertility issues.
Ophthalmology is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the eyes. Services include corneal surgery, contact lens fitting and dispensing, eyeglass prescriptions, oculoplastics and reconstruction surgery, argon and krypton laser treatments, intraocular lens implantation, refractive surgery, cataract surgery and corneal transplantation. Conditions treated may include glaucoma, low vision, diseases of the retina and vitreous humor, uveitis, corneal infections and hereditary dystrophies and nasolacrimal system disorders.
Orthopaedic surgery is the diagnosis and treatment of a spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions. Adult orthopaedics provides for patients in need of podiatric care, sports medicine treatment and adult reconstructive service. This also may include joint replacements and orthoscopic procedures. Hand orthopaedics specializes in the treatment of a variety of disorders involving the upper extremities, including congenital anomalies, limb dysfunction, acute injuries and occupational disorders. Pediatric orthopaedics focuses on the treatment of children with musculoskeletal problems involving extremities of the spine, including scoliosis, congenital malformations and neurological-related conditions. Physical medicine and rehabilitation provides management of physical disability and comprehensive rehabilitation. This often may follow amputation, trauma-related injuries, syndromes or stroke. Spinal orthopaedics treats patients with musculoskeletal problems involving the spine.
Otolaryngologists diagnose and treat diseases of the ear, nose and throat. For this reason, this specialty often is referred to simply as ear, nose and throat, or ENT. Services include nasal surgery, endoscopy, laryngology, reconstructive surgery of the head and neck, thyroid surgery, endoscopic sinus surgery, removal of foreign bodies in children, smoking cessation and rehabilitation of facial paralysis. Conditions treated include head and neck trauma, professional voice disorders, swallowing disorders, sleep apnea and vertigo.
Pathologists specialize in the study of the nature, cause and development of diseases through the examination of body tissues and fluids. Pathologists act as consultants to other medical practitioners to determine the presence or prevalence of disease by analyzing tissues or cells. Special services may include apheresis, blood bank, electron microscopy and HLA/flow cytometry.
While many pediatricians are considered primary care physicians, some specialize in specific areas of pediatrics, such as pediatric cardiology or pediatric urology. Subspecialties in pediatrics largely mirror those available for adult medicine.
Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology
Preventive medicine and epidemiology is the study of how genetic, socioeconomic and nutrition factors can affect the disease status of specific or broad populations. Areas of major study may include coronary heart disease, hypertension and diabetes in specific cultural populations, genetic epidemiology, socioeconomic status and health, nutrition interventions in minority populations and kidney transplantation.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatrists and behavioral sciences specialists provide consultation for a comprehensive range of psychiatric services for adults, adolescents and children from common mental health diseases like depression or eating disorders to more severe diseases such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Substance abuse disorders also are treated by psychiatrists.
Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonary/critical care medicine physicians specialize in outpatient and inpatient consultation and evaluation and treatment of a wide range of acute and chronic lung diseases. Services include treatment for asthma, emphysema, chronic cough, lung cancer, dyspnea, sarcoidosis, pulmonary hypertension, acute respiratory failure and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Radiation oncologists use X-rays to kill cancer cells. The radiation can be given from an external beam or may be placed inside the body. External radiation is the use of beams that are carefully targeted toward the tumor to avoid as much healthy tissue as possible.
Radiologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases using X-ray and other forms of radiant energy. Radiologists perform examinations and transmit reports to the referring physician following completion of tests. Specialty services may include general diagnostic radiography, computed tomography (CT scan), ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, neuro- and general angiography, interventional radiology and nuclear medicine procedures.
Renal disease/hypertension specialists provide consultation, evaluation and treatment of patients with acute and chronic kidney disease, hypertension (especially complex, complicated or secondary forms of the disease), fluid and electrolytic disorders, and intoxications and complex metabolic disorders such as abnormalities in metabolism of salt and water, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. Services include transplant hemodialysis, chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, intermittent and continuous peritoneal dialysis and home care.
Rheumatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases and musculoskeletal problems such as scleroderma, musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyositis, Raynaud's phenomenon, vasculitis and other related connective tissue diseases.
Surgeons specialize in various invasive surgical procedures. Areas of specialty include general surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, peripheral vascular surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and trauma and emergency medical services. General surgeons perform all routine general surgical procedures, but also may specialize in colon and rectal surgery, endocrine surgery, pediatric surgery and transplantation surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgery specializes in the surgical treatment of disorders of the mouth, jaws and related head and neck structures. Peripheral vascular surgery provides consultation, evaluation and surgical treatment of disorders directly affecting the arteries, veins and lymphatic system. Plastic and reconstructive surgery specializes in the surgical repair and correction of congenital defects, trauma-related conditions, cancer reconstruction and cosmetic surgery. Trauma and emergency medical services provide surgical treatment for patients of all ages with acute illness or injury.
Thoracic/cardiovascular surgeons specialize in surgery of the chest cavity, including the heart, lungs and esophagus. Surgeries performed include those for coronary artery disease, valvular heart diseases, acute and chronic diseases of the thoracic aorta, pulmonary diseases of all kinds, esophageal diseases, diseases of the mediastinum pleura, chest wall and diaphragm, and peripheral vascular disease. Heart and heart-lung transplants also are performed by CV surgeons.
Urologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the female urinary tract and male urogenital tract. Conditions for which urologists offer consultation include erectile dysfunction, kidney stone disease, male infertility, prostate cancer and urinary incontinence.