What is a Doctor?
Table of Contents
A doctor is someone who maintains or restores human health through the practice of medicine. He or she will diagnose and treat human disease, ailments, injuries, pain or other conditions. A doctor can be found in several settings, including public health organizations, teaching facilities, private practices, group practices and hospitals.
There is a specific type of doctor for almost every major system located in the human body. Listed below are just a few examples:
What does a Doctor do?
A doctor's schedule will differ depending on the kind of medicine they practice. Some doctors work in an office, others in the hospital, and some in places you may not think of, like laboratories where they develop new medicines and research cures.
A doctor typically works very long hours and has to be available for emergencies. These hours are spent seeing patients in an office-based setting, running tests as well as interpreting them, prescribing medicine or treatments, doing rounds in the hospital, making notes on patient's physical conditions, advising patients on how to stay healthy and talking to them about further treatment. They keep up to date by taking classes and regularly reading books and medical journals.
A doctor that also performs surgeries will usually work two or three full days in the office and then two or three days in the hospital operating room performing surgeries. Doctors will also invest time completing administrative duties such as updating patient records, returning phone calls or dealing with various office issues.
The following are various types of doctors. Click on each type to learn what they do.
Anesthesiologist - Anesthesia Specialist
Cardiologist - Heart Specialist
Cardiothoracic Surgeon - Thorax Surgeon (Heart, Lungs, Esophagus, And Other Organs In The Chest)
Chiropractor - Musculoskeletal And Nervous System Specialist
Colorectal Surgeon - Colon Rectum Anus And Gastric Tract Specialist
Coroner (Medical Examiner) - Cause Of Death Investigation Specialist
Dentist - Dental Specialist
Dermatologist - Skin Specialist
Endocrinologist - Hormone Specialist
Family Practitioner - General Family Physician
Forensic Pathologist - Investigates Sudden and Unexpected Deaths
Gastroenterologist - Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract Specialist
Gynecologist - Childbirth & Gynecological Specialist
Hospitalist - Medical Care of Hospitalized Patients
Immunologist - Allergy Specialist
Internist - Internal Medicine Specialist
Naturopathic Physician - Naturopathic Medicine Specialist
Neurologist - Brain Specialist
Neurosurgeon - Brain Surgeon
Occupational Physician - Workplace Health & Safety
Oncologist - Cancer Specialist
Ophthalmologist - Eye Specialist
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon - Dental/Medical Specialist
Orthopaedic Surgeon - Musculoskeletal System Specialist
Orthodontist - Jaws And Teeth Alignment Specialist
Otolaryngologist - Ear, Nose, Throat, and Related Structures of the Head and Neck Specialist
Pathologist - Performs Autopsies And Are Living Organism Abnormality Specialists
Pediatrician - Treats Medical Problems Of Infants, Children And Adolescents
Periodontist - Dental Specialist in Periodontal Disease
Plastic Surgeon - Reconstructive, Aesthetic or Cosmetic Surgeon
Podiatrist - Foot & Ankle Specialist
Prosthodontist - Dental Specialist
Psychiatrist - Mental Illness & Behavioural Disorder Specialist
Pulmonologist - Lung And Respiratory Specialist
Radiologist - X-Ray & Imaging Technology Specialist
Sports Medicine Physician - Sports Injury Specialist
Surgeon - Performs Operations
Urologist - Urinary System Specialist
Veterinarian - Animal Specialist
Zoo Endocrinologist - Animal Hormone Specialist
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What is the workplace of a Doctor like?
There are many workplaces available for doctors. Some start working at an existing practice while others open their own practice. Large hospitals are always eager to take on new staff members. It is believed that a lot depends on your personal preferences as the environment in each place will be different (i.e. a government hospital vs. a private hospital).
In general the healthcare industry continues to grow, which is good news for anyone who is interested in a medical career.
A pharmacist has a doctorate degree - a PharmD, or Doctor of Pharmacy. Many professions require a doctorate degree (for example, a professor, a phsychologist, etc). However, they are not "doctors" like your medical doctors are. For example, while in a crowded airplane flight, someone yells out "is there a doctor in the house?" would or should a PharmD stand up and approach in the affirmative? Probably not. Clearly here they are referring to a physician that has completed medical school and can take charge in a medical emergency.
Also relevant for Pharmacist
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Doctors Offer Advice To Medical Students
Day In The Life Of A Plastic Surgeon
Heart Surgeon - A Day In The Life.
Why You Should Still Become A Doctor
Physician Voice: Why And How Did You Become A Doctor?
The Four Years Of Medical School
What Is It Really Like To Be A Physician?
Everyone has come in contact with a physician, but many misunderstandings about the profession remain. Here's the real deal.
Physician Career Profile
A physician, or medical doctor, leads the medical team in caring for patients as the primary healthcare provider. A doctor diagnoses and treats diseases and conditions, as well as provides treatment in many forms including medication, procedures, surgery, or therapy.
Reality Check: Being A Doctor Doesn't Guarantee 'Big Bucks' Anymore
I am writing this letter because I feel that our leaders and lawmakers do not have an accurate picture of what it actually entails to become a physician today; specifically, the financial, intellectual, social, mental, and physical demands of the profession.
Types Of Doctors And Their Salaries
As we have paced towards growth and development in every sector, the medical field has evolved to become one of the most dynamic and diversified sectors. Today, health care is an established industry with numerous medical jobs and specializations.
The Difference Between A Physician & A Surgeon
Those who perform little or no surgery are simply referred to as physicians. All surgeons are physicians, but not all physicians are surgeons.
What Are The Qualifications To Become A Doctor?
It is important to research specific requirements in the country where the person will work or train as a doctor.
A Day In The Life Of A Doctor Without Borders
Wednesday May 15 started early. I got up at 6 a.m. and took a cold refreshing shower. My mind was spinning with the day ahead so I had not slept well. The night before was a late one in the MSF base office as Luigi, our Italian project coordinator and I, were analyzing data regarding our surge in malnutrition here in eastern Chad. We sat in his hot, bug-filled office with laptops strewn across his desk...
A Day In The Life Of A Primary Care Doctor
A harried pediatrician tells her story. Tick tock: Candice Chen, like many primary care physicians, tries to give her patients the time they need while staying ahead of the clock.
A Day In The Life Of A Family Medicine Doctor
As a family doctor, we're trained to see people of all ages, from pregnant women, to newborns, to adults, to the very elderly. We're also trained to work in either a hospital or in an outpatient office, although many (not all) will choose one or the other. Some will also work in urgent care centres or nursing homes.
A Day In The Life Of A Surgery Resident
4:45 am My alarm has just gone off which means I’ve got 30 minutes to take a shower, get ready because I’m on the Vascular Surgery service. I do all of that and grab my bag with some reading material for later and head up to the hospital...
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