Health & Wellness

Healthcare Providers & Professionals Glossary of Terms

Audiologist – This is a doctor who handles problems with hearing. These doctors also help hearing impaired children learn to communicate.

Andrologists – An andrologist is a specialist doctor that helps in diagnosing and treating male reproductive system disorders.

Anesthesiologist – This is the doctor that helps you to sleep through painful operations and medical diagnoses. They are responsible for administering the anesthesia and present during surgeries to help in complications arising from anesthesia medications.

Cardiologist – A cardiologist is certified to treat any problem dealing with heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular Surgeon – This doctor carries out surgical and invasive techniques dealing with cardiovascular diseases.

Clinical Neurophysiologist – This is a doctor that diagnoses any problem dealing with the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system with the aid of electrophysiological tests.

Dentist – Any dental problem from tooth decay to dentures to retainers are handled by a dentist. They also treat any gum diseases and oral defects.

Dermatologist – This is a doctor that treats any ailment related to the skin and its appendages such as hair, nails etc.

Emergency Doctors- These doctors handle trauma and emergency conditions in the Emergency room (ER) and are available at all times. Emergencies treated may vary from poisoning to broken bones, burns, heart attack concussions, accident trauma etc.

Endocrinologist – Thyroid problems, hormone problems or any problems with the endocrine system are handled by an endocrinologist.

Epidemiologists – This is a doctor who specializes in epidemic illnesses which are highly viral. They are scientists who identify new diseases, virus mutations and develop cures and modes of prevention of diseases with vaccinations, etc.

ENT Specialist – This doctor treats problems with the ear, nose and throat. An ENT surgeon is a specialist who performs surgery on these parts of the anatomy.

Family Practitioner – A family physician is the neighborhood doctor who is a general physician treating illnesses and medical issues of all sorts, at all ages, as well as medical non-emergency conditions. If the condition is serious, they will refer you to a specialist relevant to the field of the illness.

Gastroenterologist – A doctor for illnesses related to the digestive system including the common problem of gastritis and acid reflux.

Gynecologist – Any problems with the female reproductive system are referred to and treated by a gynecologist.

General Psychiatrist – Any person with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression and anxiety problems is treated by the general psychiatrist.

Hematologist – Blood and its diseases are studied by a hematologist.

Hepatologist – This doctor is responsible for diagnosing and treating diseases of the liver.

Immunologist -This is a doctor responsible for studying everything about the immune system and treating any related diseases.

Infectious Disease Specialist – An IDS studies and treats diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites and will identify outbreaks of epidemics and pandemic situations.

Internal Medicine Specialist – This doctor is responsible for diagnosing any illnesses and managing them with nonsurgical treatment. These are usually unusual or serious diseases.

Internists- These doctors focus on medicine related to adults and have special expertise in the areas related to the prevention and treatment of adult diseases.

Medical Geneticist – A doctor who is responsible for testing, identifying and treating patients with genetic diseases and disorders.

Microbiologist – A microbiologist is a doctor who studies the causes, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases where microbes are involved.

Neonatologist – A doctor for newborn babies, premature or critically ill babies.

Nephrologists – This is a specialist doctor that treats kidney diseases and renal problems with treatments such as dialysis.

Neurologist – This doctor studies various brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurosurgeons – These are the specialist doctors who carry out surgeries on central and peripheral nervous system diseases and the brain.

Obstetrician – This is a sub specialization in the gynecological field of study and handles various aspects of the female reproductive system such as childbirth, Caesareans etc.

Oncologist- An oncologist is a specialist physician that diagnoses and treats cancer patients with drugs, chemotherapy, radiation and where needed, surgical interventions.

Ophthalmologist – This is a doctor that treats eyes and various eye defects, blindness and performs different eye surgeries.

Orthopedic Surgeon – If you suffer from arthritis and osteoporosis or other bone-related illnesses, or broken bones, an orthopedic surgeon needs to be consulted.

Orthopedist – Broken bones from falls or osteoporosis are treated by an orthopedist.

Primatologist – If someone is having a high risk pregnancy, this is the doctor who should be consulted for special care and treatment.

Paleopathologist – A doctor that studies ancient diseases.

Parasitologist – A doctor that is responsible for the study of parasites, their pathology and parasitic diseases and treatment of these diseases.

Pathologist – Specialist scientists who are doctors that study abnormalities in living organisms and study DNA, tissue, blood and other various human and animal cells. They are also responsible for performing autopsies to determine the cause of death.

Pediatrician -This is a doctor who treats children for any illness from birth to adolescence.

Physiologist – A physiologist is a life science doctor who specializes in physiology and rehabilitation.

Physiatrist – The doctor whose specialty is medicine and rehabilitation of the body and muscles.

Plastic Surgeon – A doctor that can transplant skin, muscles or change the structure of a face or other body parts for cosmetic and reconstructive purposes.

Podiatrists – This is a specialist doctor who treats disorders of the foot and ankle.

Psychiatrists- These doctors specialize in mental illnesses and will study, diagnose, counsel and treat mental illnesses.

Pulmonologist – A doctor who is responsible for diagnosing and treating lung conditions and treating or managing critical care patients admitted in the ICU with ventilator support.

Radiologist – A doctor who specializes in the use of X-rays or other imaging technologies in order to diagnose various illnesses.

Reproductive Endocrinologist -This doctor treats various reproductive problems that include sexual disorders and infertility problems.

Rheumatologist – A physician responsible for handling autoimmune disorders and allergic conditions.

Surgeon- A surgeon is a doctor that specializes in surgical operations and will have their own specialties such as orthopedic, ENT, brain, neuro, cardiovascular, maxillo-facial surgery, plastic surgery and transplant surgery.

Thoracic Oncologist -This doctor deals with cancer of the lungs, esophagus and chest.

Urologist – Any urinary problems and urinary tract infections are treated by a urologist.


Additional Resources

Denturologist – Denturologists assess, design, fabricate, repair and insert both complete and removable partial dentures. They examine patients and design, construct and repair dentures.

Medical Office Assistant – A Medical Office Assistant is in charge of keeping a medical office running smoothly. Medical office assistants can work in doctors offices, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmaceutical companies, government health agencies and various other medical settings.

Naturopathic Physician – Naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners.

Nurse – LPN – A licensed practical nurse in much of the United States and most Canadian provinces is a nurse who cares for people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled. LPNs work under the direction of registered nurses or physicians.

Nurse – RN – Registered Nurses keep records, administer medication, consult with other healthcare providers, monitor patients and educate individuals and family.

Nurse Practitioner – A Nurse Practitioner is a nurse that has completed a master’s degree (soon to be doctorate) in advanced practice nursing. In other words, they can diagnose and treat without the supervision of a doctor.

Nurse’s Aide – Nursing assistants or nurse’s aides offer patients compassion and patience while assisting them with day-to-day life tasks such as dressing, bathing and feeding. They may also support doctors and nurses in diagnostic procedures and technical treatments.

Occupational Therapist – Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Optometrist – An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy.

Personal Care Assistant – Personal care assistants, also known as caregivers, home health or personal care aides, give assistance to people who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly and fragile. They are not required to have a medical degree.

Physical Therapist – Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility in many cases without surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

Physician’s Assistant – Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the direction of physicians and surgeons. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses and provide treatment. PAs need a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited medical school or center of medicine to seek licensure.

Physiotherapist – Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function who work with patients, assisting them to overcome movement disorders.

Psychologist – Psychologists have the professional training and clinical skills to help people learn to cope with life issues and mental health problems. Psychologists with doctoral degrees (either a PhD, PsyD or EdD) receive one of the highest levels of education of all health care professionals, spending an average of seven years in education and training after they receive their undergraduate degrees.

Social Worker – Social workers assist people by helping them cope with issues in their everyday lives, deal with their relationships and solve personal and family problems.

Speech/Language Pathologist – Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) deal with speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. 


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