Hospital Departments Explained
Know Your Way Around Hospitals

A to Z of hospital departments


Guide To Hospital Departments
A-Z

Accident & Emergency (A&E)
Allergy, Immunology, Pulmonology
Anesthesiology
Cancer (Oncology)
Cancer Screening
Cardiology
Complementary And Alternative
Dermatology (skin)
Diabetes and Endocrinology
Gastroenterology
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
Geriatrics
Hematology (Blood)
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Nephrology (Kidney Disease)
Neurology
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ophthalmology (Eyes)
Pain Medicine
Pathology
Pediatrics
Preventive and Nutrition
Psychiatry and Mental Health
Radiology
Rheumatology
Surgery

Know Your Way Around Hospitals


Accident
and
Emergency
(A&E)

floor plan
What Happens In A&E

A&E is also referred to as the emergency department (ED) or emergency room (ER). This facility assesses and treats patients with sudden serious injuries and illnesses. When a patient dials 911 with a worrying condition they are taken by ambulance to the A&E department at the nearest hospital. 45 million injuries are dealt with through A&E departments every year in the United States.

What Is Treated In A&E

The most common problems treated in A&E are:
Chest pain.
Heart failure.
Heart attack and stroke.
Cerebrovascular accidents (head injuries).
Infectious diseases.
Abdominal pain.
Gastrointestinal bleeding.
Respiratory diseases like pneumonia.
Abscesses.
Severe cuts and broken bones.
Orthopedic and rheumatologic complaints.

Some Reasons Always To Call 911

If a person:
Experiences loss of consciousness.
Becomes very confused and has fits that do not stop.
Has persistent, severe chest pain.
Has breathing difficulties.
Experiences bleeding that won't stop.

Allergy, Immunology
and Pulmonology
What Happens In This Department

This department offers specialized diagnostic tests and treatment for people with diseases of the respiratory tract (pulmonology), immune system (immunology) and allergies. The most common condition investigated is asthma. Doctors will review possible environmental triggers to determine both indoor or outdoor allergens (substances a patient may be allergic to). In some instances a nurse may visit the patient's home to check for possible allergens. Some centers may have a cardiopulmonary sleep and ventilatory disorders laboratory. Here, patients are assessed overnight while sleeping to diagnose a variety of breathing disorders associated with sleep. It may be referred to as a sleep center.

What Is Treated

Sleep apnea.
Periodic breathing associated with congestive heart failure (CHF).
Nocturnal asthma (where symptoms are worse at night).
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Breathing difficulties associated with obesity.
Asthma.
Chronic or recurrent sinusitis.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Anaphylaxis (serious allergic reactions).
Angioedema (edema, rapid swelling caused by allergic reaction).
Chronic lung disease.
Insect hypersensitivity.
Neurologic diseases (problems with the brain).
Chronic obstructive lung disease.
Neuromuscular disorders (diseases that affect the nerves that control your voluntary muscles).
Emphysema.
Lung transplantation.
Adult cystic fibrosis.

Types Of Doctors In This Department

Doctors who treat these conditions are allergists, immunologists and pulmonologists. A doctor who specializes in treating asthma is likely to qualify in one or more of these areas.

Anesthesiology What Happens In Anesthesiology

This department will have a team of doctors called anesthesiologists who specialize in providing anesthesia for all types of surgery. Where a surgeon performs the surgical procedure, an anesthesiologist makes the decision about how much or what type of anesthetic to use. He also attends surgery to supervise the patient's vital signs while under the effects of anesthesia. He makes medical decisions regarding life functions such as heart rate, breathing and blood.

Diseases And Disorders Treated

An anesthesiologist works across all departments where surgical intervention is necessary. Some doctors may have additional experience in certain types of surgeries such as cardiac, thoracic, vascular, orthopedic, neurological or pediatric, as well as pain control during labor (using an epidural pain relief for example). Or they may be dedicated to working in pain medicine - that is, the treatment of people with chronic pain.

Types Of Doctors In Anesthesiology


A doctors that works in anesthesiology is called an anesthesiologist. A qualified nurse is called an anesthetist. Anesthetist nurses are only allowed to administer anesthesia under the supervision of a physician. The supervising physician however can be any kind of physician.


Cancer (Oncology) What Happens In Oncology

The oncology department specializes in the diagnosis, management and treatment of cancer. Most hospitals are also involved in research and participate in cancer clinical trials to test new forms of treatments on willing patients. The oncology department offers a variety of cancer treatments such as cancer drugs, biological targeted therapies, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Oncology closely liaises with the department of surgery (if surgery is required - surgeons can specialize in surgical oncology, that is the removal of cancerous tumors), the pain clinic (helping patients cope with chronic pain), radiology, dieticians and social workers.

What Is Treated In Oncology

Common Cancers:
Colon cancer.
Rectum cancer.
Breast cancer.
Prostate cancer.
Lung cancer.
Less frequently:
Brain tumors.
Head and neck tumors (including thyroid cancer).
Sarcomas.
Melanoma (skin cancer).
Kidney cancer.
Cervical cancer.
Ovarian cancer.
Vaginal cancer.
Vulva cancer.
Fallopian tube cancer.
Endometrial cancer.
Hepatoma (liver cancer).
Biliary cancers.
Pancreatic cancer.
Neuroendocrine cancers.

Type Of Doctors That Treat Cancer

Medical oncologist: A doctor qualified to specialize in cancer care and treatment is called a medical oncologist. Adult oncologists prescribe, administer and monitor chemotherapy in adults.
Pediatric oncologists prescribe, administer and monitor chemotherapy in infants and children.
Diagnostic radiologists specialize in the use of X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, MRIs and other radiation-based techniques for diagnosing cancer.
Radiation oncologists prescribe, administer and monitor radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. In some hospitals diagnostic radiologists and radiation oncologists have their own department called the department of radiation oncology.
Oncology nurses are nurses who are qualified in the care of cancer patients.

Cancer Screening
and
Awareness
Screening

Most hospitals will run a cancer screening program to promote awareness and early detection of disease. Screenings are usually covered by health insurance, although most hospitals will also periodically offer free screenings. You should check on your local hospitals website for their schedule.

Common screenings include:

Breast cancer: mammogram, clinical breast exams, genetic counseling and genetic testing for breast cancer. See also, breast cancer diagnosis.
Cervical cancer: pap smears, HPV testing and vaccination, and genetic counseling and testing. See cervical cancer diagnosis.
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum): colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and genetic counseling/testing.
Ovarian cancer: pelvic examinations, rectal exams, transvaginal ultrasounds, CA-125 blood test, and genetic counseling/testing. See ovarian cancer diagnosis.
Skin cancer: screening, including genetic testing and counseling for patients with a strong family history of skin cancer, including melanoma, atypical nevi, and basal cell carcinoma or squamous under the age of 30.

Related
Recommened screenings for women: All health screenings.


Cardiology

 

What Happens In Cardiology

The cardiology department specializes in the diagnosis, management and treatment of heart disease. It offers a range of diagnostic services for heart disease including angiography, cardiac MRI scan, echocardiography, Holter monitoring, heart biopsy (myocardial biopsy), nuclear imaging, stress testing and tilt table testing. Treatment may involve the use of medication, diet adjustment and specialized surgery such as angioplasty with stent placement, heart bypass surgery or transmyocardial revascularization for patients with angina chest pain. Some hospitals have a specialized chest pain center which is a collaboration between cardiology and the emergency department to deal with patients presenting in an emergency in a rapid manner. After patients receive cardiology treatment they may be advised to attend cardiac rehabilitation to help with their recovery. Here, they will receive a personal exercise and eating plan and advice on stress management and physical therapy so they can return as soon as possible to regular activities. Some departments also run a preventive cardiology program working with people who are at risk of heart disease - those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, as well as people who are obese and smoke - to help them to adopt healthier lifestyles.

What Is Treated In Cardiology

Congenital heart disease.
Coronary heart disease.
Heart failure.
Angina pain.
Arrhythmias: heart rhythm abnormalities.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Thoracic aortic aneurysm.
Specialized treatments include heart transplant and heart valve repair and replacement.

Type Of Doctors In Cardiology

Cardiologist: A doctor trained in diagnosing, treating and preventing heart disease. A cardiologist is not a trained surgeon, but some do diagnostic tests such as cardiac catheterizations that require small skin incisions and some put in pacemakers. A heart surgeon is called a cardiac surgeon.
Cardiology nurse: This type of nurse can work in different areas of cardiac care, including coronary care units (CCU), intensive care units (ICU), cardiac catheterization, surgery, cardiac surgery wards, cardiac medical wards, cardiovascular intensive care units (CVICU) and cardiac rehabilitation centers.

Complementary, Alternative
and Integrative Medicine
What Happens In This Department

The department works with other hospital departments (such as internal medicine, oncology, gastroenterology and cardiology) to integrate complementary therapies into a patient’s treatment plan. The aim is to treat chronic disease holistically and improve a patient’s quality of life. Most centers will participate in clinical trials and document the outcomes of patients who receive integrated care. One focus of clinical trial for example is the use of the herb black cohosh in treating menopause symptoms, or a trial comparing different types of diet plans on preventing heart disease (American Heart Association diet vs. macrobiotic diet). Treatments on offer may include may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, meditation, Tai Chi, shiatsu, Pilates and massage.

Conditions Treated

Menopause symptoms.
Chronic pain.
Stress reduction.
Breast cancer prevention.
Heart disease prevention.

Types Of Doctors

A team of experts work at an integrative medicine center including board-certified gastroenterologists, internists, acupuncturists, psychotherapists, licensed massage therapists, nutritionists, registered dieticians and clinical counselors.

Dermatology What Happens In Dermatology

The dermatology department offers a range of services for patients with common skin disorders such as eczema or warts as well as more complex skin problems like vitiligo and skin cancer. It also treats patients suffering from hair loss. Most services are offered on an outpatient basis. Procedures on offer will include excisional surgery, laser surgery, cryosurgery, electrosurgery and skin cancer surgery (in liaison with oncology). The department will also have diagnostic and therapy services for people with sexually transmitted diseases involving the skin (such as genital warts, crabs and scabies). The cosmetic and laser dermatology unit offers medical and surgical interventions to treat cosmetic problems, hair transplantation, laser dermatology, chemical peels, dermabrasion, retinoid therapy and alpha-hydroxy acids. Patients with dysplastic nevi and/or skin cancer will be treated in the pigmented lesion unit. This specialized area requires the participation of pathologists, medical and surgical oncologists, radiation therapists and experts in molecular medicine.

What Is Treated In Dermatology

Rosacea
Acne
Bullous disease (autoimmune blistering disease)
Psoriasis
Eczema
Cutaneous lymphoma
Dermatitis
Psoriasis
Hair loss
Warts
Actinic keratoses
Vitiligo
Skin cancer
STDs that affect the skin.
Genetic diseases that affect the skin.

Types Of Doctors Who Treat Skin Problems

Dermatologist: Doctor who specializes in dealing with diseases and conditions of the skin. Some doctors choose to specialize further, for example by training in cutaneous oncology (skin cancers).
Dermatopathologist: A physician who is trained to interpret skin biopsies.
Pediatric dermatologist: doctor specializes in dealing with diseases and conditions of the skin in children.
Dermatology nurses: Works in the dermatology department of a hospital or the offices of a plastic surgeon.

Diabetes
and
Endocrinology
What Happens In This Department

It specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and disorders of the endocrine glands (glands that control the body’s hormones, this medical area of expertise is known as endocrinology). The center will have a team of diabetes experts and educators who will advise patients on diabetes complications and prevention. It will have examination rooms for a thyroid ultrasound and biopsy.

Conditions Treated

Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes (adult onset).
Gestational diabetes (in pregnancy).
Insulin resistance.
Thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Endocrine disorders including pituitary and adrenal diseases.
Cushing's syndrome.
Growth disorders in children.

Types Of Doctors Who Treat Diabetes And Endocrine Disorders

Endocrinologist: A doctor who specializes in hormone related illnesses. An endocrinologist may also be consulted to treat conditions such as the menopause, metabolic disorders and infertility (all related to hormone imbalances).
Diabetologist: An endocrinologist who specializes in treating diabetics.
Diabetes educator: Healthcare workers specially qualified in training diabetics on managing their condition.
Diabetes specialist nurses: Work alongside doctors in hospital but can also see patients independently to carry out treatment prescribed by a doctor and to offer advice on managing diabetes.

Gastroenterology What Happens In Gastroenterology

This department specializes in diagnosing and treating digestive diseases and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. That is, disorders of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, bile ducts and pancreas. Some departments will have sub-specialties, for example in colerectal surgery or treating swallowing problems and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

What Is Treated In Gastroenterology

Anorectal diseases (rectum and anus).
Celiac disease.
Colorectal cancer.
Esophageal diseases.
Functional dyspepsia.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Ulcerative colitis.
Crohn's disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Liver diseases.
Obesity, via weight loss surgery.
Pancreas and biliary diseases.
Stomach diseases.

Types Of Doctors Who Treat Digestive Disorders

Gastroenterologist: A doctor qualified to treat digestive and abdominal problems - that is diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (organs along the alimentary canal from the mouth to the anus).
Hepatologist: A sub-specialty doctor who focuses hepatobiliary medicine - treating the liver, pancreas and bile ducts.

Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
What Happens In ENT (Otorhinolaryngology)

This department specializes in head and face disorders, especially those related to the ear, nose, and throat. All Doctors in ENT will treat routine cases of nose bleeds, sinus disease, snoring and sleep disorders. Many will also usually sub-specialize in one or more areas including neurotology (study of nerves in the ears), otology (hearing), nasal and sinus problems, swallowing and voice problems, surgery and audiology (hearing and balance).

What Is Treated In ENT

Ear Problems and Procedures
Hearing and deafness.
Hearing aids and how to get one.
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Dizziness and vertigo.
Infections of the ear.
Glue ear.
Grommets.
Perforated ear drum.
Cholesteatoma/mastoid operations.
Otosclerosis.
Meniere’s disease.
Protruding ears/bat ears/pinnaplasty.

Nose Problems

Sinus infection (sinusitis).
Nasal injuries.
Nasal polyps.
Tumors of the nose.
Nasal obstructions.

Throat Problems and Procedures
Adenoid removal.
Tonsil removal.
Chronic sore throats.
Microlaryngoscopy.
Oesophagoscopy.
Bad breath (halitosis).
Hoarseness and laryngitis.
Snoring and sleep apnea.

Head And Neck Problems and Procedures
Facial skin lesions.
Head and neck cancers.
Gland surgery.
Neck dissection (cancer treatment).

Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery on the nose (rhinoplasty).
Blepharoplasty (removal of excess skin from around the eyelids).
Facelifts.
Cosmetic surgery to the ear (otoplasty).

Types Of ENT Doctors

Otolaryngologists: Commonly referred to as ENT specialists, are doctors who can practice in ENT.
Plastic surgeon: While some surgeons work primarily in cosmetic surgery, others focus on restoration surgery - that is repairing tissues and bones so the patient regains function after injury, trauma or burns.
ENT nurse: A nurse specialized in ENT care.

Geriatrics Department What Happens In Geriatrics

This department provides clinical services to older patients - both outpatient and inpatient care. Outpatient care focuses on providing information on general healthcare, disease prevention, chronic disease management and diagnosis of illnesses. Inpatient services include respiratory/ventilator care, rehabilitation, general medical care for an illness and palliative care. Some hospitals have additional consultation services. For example John Hopkins has an inpatient hip fracture service that helps patients avoid complications arising from a hip fracture. Some hospitals may also offer a psychiatry program to address behavioral symptoms like dementia and depression; as well as physical therapy, speech language pathology and occupational therapy.

What Is Treated In Geriatrics

Psychiatric care for:
Dementia
Depression
Anxiety and irritability
Agitation
Hallucinations
Delirium
Rehabilitation after:
Stroke
Heart attack
Hip fracture (or other fracture)
Ventilator dependent patients with:
Respiratory conditions
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Emphysema
Asthma
Guillain-Barre syndrome
Myasthenia gravis

Types Of Doctors That Treat Older Patients

Geriatrician: Is a doctor who has completed a residency in either family medicine or internal medicine or family medicine with additional fellowship training in medical, psychological and social issues concerning older adults.
Gerontologist: A healthcare professional who specializes in working with the elderly (they do not require a doctor's qualification). Nurses, social workers and psychologists may have an additional qualification in gerontology.

Hematology
(Blood Disorders)
What Happens In Hematology

This department diagnoses, treats and manages blood diseases - that is, diseases that are either congenital (the patient is born with) or acquired. Typically doctors investigate bleeding and thrombotic (blood clotting) problems and cancers of the blood (leukemia). Some hematology centers will offer diagnosis and counseling for families affected by hereditary blood diseases like sickle cell.

What Is Treated In Hematology

Common blood disorders including anemia.
Anemia in pregnancy.
Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease (the most common bleeding disorder in America).
Blood clots like deep-vein thrombosis (DVT).
Blood clots in arteries associated with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Heredity diseases sickle cell anemia.
Bone marrow failure disorders (such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria).

What Doctors Treat Blood Disorders

Hematologist: Doctor that specializes in blood disorders.
Hematology nurse: Works with patients with blood disorders. A hematology oncology (hem/onc) nurse is even more specialized and works with patients with blood cancers.

Infectious Diseases What Happens In The Infectious Diseases Department

This department treats patients with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. Services provided may include HIV consultation, on-site pharmacy, phlebotomy services (safe collection of blood samples), treatment rooms for IV infusions, nutrition counseling, buprenorphine therapy and specialty care in dermatology, gynecology, neurology, endocrinology and mental health. Also, HIV testing sites and access to clinical trials to try new HIV treatments.

What Is Treated In This Department

All infectious diseases, primarily HIV/AIDs but also hepatitis C and tuberculosis.

What Doctors Treat Infectious Diseases

HIV specialist: A doctor accredited by the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM).
Phlebotomist: Technicians who are trained to collect blood from patients for examination by the medical laboratory team.
Genetic counselors: Genetic counselors work with families vulnerable to inheriting genetic disorders.

Internal Medicine What Happens In Internal Medicine

An internal medicine department provides cross-specialty care for adult patients with a wide range of diseases. Internists (doctors trained in internal medicine) are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems. They can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses strike at the same time. Doctors from different departments often consult an internist in difficult medical cases (which is why an internist is sometimes referred to as doctors doctor). Patients are more likely to meet with an internist than any other type of doctor in a hospital.

What Is Treated In Internal Medicine

Internists can practice general medicine or specialize in one of the following areas:

Allergies and immunology.
Cardiology (heart problems).
Endocrinology (diabetes and endocrine gland disorders).
Gastroenterology (digestive problems).
Geriatrics (care of the elderly).
Hematology (blood disorders).
Infectious disease (HIV).
Nephrology (kidneys).
Oncology (cancer).
Pulmonology (lungs).
Rheumatology (arthritis).
Sports medicine.

What Doctors Practice Internal Medicine

Internist: Doctor qualified in internal medicine. A doctor can also do additional training to sub-specialize in an area. For example, a cardiologist is an internist who had additional training in diseases of the heart.

Nephrology
(Kidney Disease)
What Happens In Nephrology

This center offers consultation and treatment of people with both kidney disease and hypertension. It offers hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplants. A peritoneal dialysis unit provides training for patients who select peritoneal dialysis as home therapy. The hemodialysis unit provides dialysis units for patients in hospital. Other general areas of expertise include urinary system problems, water and electrolyte disorders, kidney disease in pregnancy, urinary tract infections, and primary and secondary diseases of the kidney (particularly in diabetics).

What Is Treated In Nephrology

Kidney disease.
Urinary tract infections.
Interstitial cystitis (IC).

What Doctors Treat Kidney Disease

Nephrologist: A physician who has trained in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease.
Nephrology nurse: A nurse trained to care for people with kidney disease.
Neurology What Happens In Neurology

This department diagnoses and treats patients with disorders of the brain and nervous system. Doctors will carry out neurological tests to assess a patients nerve reactions, hearing, speech and vision abilities, coordination and balance, mental status and changes in mood or behavior.

What Is Treated In Neurology

Autism.
Asperger Syndrome.
Alzheimer's disease.
ADHD.
Epilepsy.
Chronic neuropathic pain.
Brain injury and concussion.
Brain and spine tumors.
Brain aneurysm.
Dizziness.
Facial nerve problems.
Multiple sclerosis.
Motion sickness.
Parkinson's disease.
Tourette syndrome.
Strokes.
Vertigo and balance.
Tremors.

Doctors Who Treat Brain Problems

Neurologist: A doctor who is trained to treat problems of the brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Neurology nurse: A nurse trained to care for patients with neurological disorders (sometimes called neuro nurse).

Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) What Happens In Obsetrics And Gynecology

This is the center for womens health. Gynecology is the treatment of conditions and diseases of the female reproductive organs, including breasts, vagina, vulva, womb (uterus), cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Many gynecologists will have a sub-specialty, for example in gynecologic oncology (cancer), infertility treatment, urogynecology or laparoscopic surgery. Obstetrics is the management and care of pregnant women. If you have been categorized as a high-risk pregnancy you will visit this department regularly for checkups.

What Is Treated In OB/GYN

Vaginal cancer.
Vulva cancer.
Ovarian cancer.
Cervical cancer.
Fallopian tube cancer.
Endometrial cancer.
Menstrual problems from menses through to menopause.
Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Urinary incontinence.
Painful sexual intercourse.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Endometriosis.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Uterine fibroids.
Ovarian cysts.
Uterine polyps.
Cervical polyps.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in women.

What Doctors Treat Female Problems

Gynecologist: Doctor who specializes in the treatment of female reproductive disorders.
Obstetrician: Doctor who specializes in the care of pregnant women and pregnancy complications. Most obstetricians are also qualified gynecologists and are called OB/GYNs.

Ophthalmology (Eyes) What Happens In Ophthalmology

This department investigates, treats and manages diseases and conditions of the eyes. Offers laser treatment (VISX Excimer Laser for example) for the treatment of farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. Some centers are equipped with the Sunrise Holmium Laser for the correction of farsightedness. The department may also act as a referral center for people with ocular (eye) tumors, including retinoblastoma (childhood ocular tumor). Leading centers also run Neuro-Ophthalmology programs for treating patients with vision problems due to neurological or autoimmune diseases such as migraines, thyroid disease, demylenation, myasthenia and cerebrovascular disease. The department also works in diagnosing and treating patients with permanent or partial visual loss, double vision, blurred vision or unusual visual problems.

What Is Treated In Ophthalmology

Farsightedness, nearsightedness, stigmas and farsightedness.
Eye tumors (cancerous and benign).
Cataracts.
Glaucoma.
Inherited eye diseases.
Diabetic eye disease.
Tear film abnormalities.
Corneal transplants.
Partial or full loss of sight.
Double vision, blurred vision.
Eye injuries due to accidents.

Doctors Who Treat Eye Problems

Ophthalmologists: Doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical care of the eyes.
Optometrists: Doctors of optometry (OD) who examine, diagnose, treat and manage some eye diseases. They do not perform surgery.
Opticians: Healthcare professionals (not a medical doctor) who work with ophthalmologists and optometrists to diagnose routine eye problems like nearsightedness and farsightedness. They interpret prescriptions to determine which lenses best meet a patients needs.

Pain Medicine What Happens In Pain Medicine

This center treats patients experiencing acute (severe sudden) pain, chronic (ongoing) pain, pain associated with cancer and pain associated with the head and face. A variety of advanced techniques will be used to treat pain such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulator implants, non-invasive laser therapy, trigger point injections (popular for the treatment of fibromyalgia), TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) and radiofrequency neurolysis.

Conditions Treated

Back problems and neck pain including those caused by tumors, herniated discs, fibrositis and spinal stenosis.
Muscles and joint pains associated with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Bone and joint problems.
Pain associated with vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.
Shingles and facial pain (trigeminal neuralgia).
Sickle cell anemia.
Cancer pain.
Pain associated with AIDS.
Pain associated with spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis.
Severe abdominal or pelvic pain.

Types Of Pain Management Doctors

A typical pain management team includes:

Pain Management Specialist: This type of doctor can come from any medical background (although usually they are board-certified anesthesiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists or physiatrists) but at some point will have specialized in treating pain.
Clinical psychologists: A qualified health worker who is trained to help patients with psychological-based pain.
Physiotherapists: Helps patients regain movement through physical exercises.
Occupational therapists: Provide practical day to day help by advising patients how to manage their condition.
Nurse practitioners: Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed either a Master of nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Pathology What Happens In Pathology

This department's primary role is to examine tissue samples taken by biopsy from patients from other hospital departments. The role of pathology is not only to diagnose the presence of (or not) a disease, but also to predict it's likely course. For example, if cancer is discovered, the pathologist will need to confirm the type and stage (how far progressed it is). A large hospital may have doctors (pathologists) who specialize in particular areas, such as breast pathology, liver pathology, neuropathology, bone pathology or gynecological pathology. This department will also test blood samples and body fluid samples for infections and diseases.

What Diseases Are Tested For In Pathology

Any test that requires clinical examination will be sent to the pathology department, including tests for:

Blood disorders.
Cancers.
HIV.
Heart disease, with a heart biopsy.
Kidney disease with a renal biopsy.
Autoimmune disorders - checks for example rheumatoid factor, scleroderma antibody and sjogren’s antibody.
Infectious diseases such as toxoplasma, rubella, mumps, Lyme disease and mononucleosis.

Types Of Pathology Doctors

Pathologists: A pathologist is a doctor trained to examine body fluids and tissues to help a primary care doctor make a diagnosis or monitor progress of treatments. Pathologists can have subspecialties, for example, hematopathology (bone marrows and clotting disorders), cytopathology (Pap smears and fine needle aspirations) and forensic pathology (coroners and medical examiners, the type you see in detective movies).

Pediatrics What Happens In Pediatrics

Pediatrics handles ALL conditions and illnesses of children up until the age of 18 (after this they will be treated in adults hospitals). This includes cancer, cardiology, blood disorders, allergies and immunology, kidney disease, pain medicine, epilepsy, infectious diseases, dermatology and critical care. Very often pediatrics may operate as a separate stand-alone childrens hospital.

What Is Treated In Pediatrics

Any child with an illness (regardless of the type of illness) will be treated by pediatrics.

Types Of Doctors Who Treat Children

Pediatrician: Is usually a primary care doctor who cares for infants and children until the age of 18. Pediatricians can subspecialize in particular areas of healthcare. For example, a pediatric cardiologist will work with children with heart problems, pediatric gastroenterologists with gastrological disorders, pediatric ENT-otolaryngologists with ear, nose or throat problems.

Preventive
Medicine and Nutrition
What Happens In Preventive Medicine

This department helps patients to prevent or manage a medical condition by offering advice on weight management, cholesterol, smoking cessation and other aspects of health. A team of healthcare professionals, including general internists, dieticians and nutritionists will work closely with other departments to offer a holistic approach to health. For example, a dietician will work closely with cardiology patients recovering from a heart attack and prescribe a heart healthy eating plan.

Typical Services Offered
Nutrition consultation for weightloss, weight maintenance and weight gain.
Body composition and nutrient analysis.
Food preparation advice.
Smoking cessation program.

Psychiatry
and
Mental Health
What Happens In Psychiatry

This department cares for people suffering from mental illness and emotional problems. Patients may stay in hospital for continual treatment or be treated on a day-basis (out patient).

Conditions Treated

Anxiety disorders.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Autism.
Depression and bipolar disorder.
Eating disorders.
Personality disorders.
Schizophrenia.
Sleep disorders.
Substance abuse.
Women's mental health, including postpartum depression.

Doctors Who Treat Mental Health Issues

Psychiatrist: Is a medical doctor qualified in treating mental disorders. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications (such as antidepressants).
Psychologist: A psychologist has a doctoral-level degree in psychology (but is not a medical doctor). He can diagnosis and treat patients with mental disorders, but may not prescribe medications.
Therapists: A therapist is general term to describe a professional that helps counsel patients through emotional and mental issues. A therapist may be a psychiatrist or psychologist, or he/she may be a counselor: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).

Radiology What Happens In Radiology

This department provides diagnostic radiology and radiation therapy treatments. Radiology is the use of radiation to both diagnose and treat illnesses. Diagnostic radiology involves the use of medical imaging equipment such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Radiation therapy is used in the treatment of cancer tumors.

Services Provided

Radiation therapies.
Brachytherapy.
External beam therapy.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
Proton therapy.
Interventional radiology (IR).
Catheter angiography.
Uterine artery embolization.
Chemoembolization.
Radioembolization.
Radiofrequency ablation.

What Doctors Work In Radiology

A team of specialists work in radiology including:

Radiologist: A medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating illnesses by using imaging techniques.
Radiologist assistant: Works with the radiologist to perform examinations. May even make initial assessments on their own.
Radiologic technologist: Operates the radiographic equipment.
Radiologic nurse: Provides care for patients undergoing tests.
Radiation oncologist: Doctors that prescribe treatment to patients undergoing radiation treatment.
Medical radiation physicist: Qualified healthcare workers who plan and deliver treatment prescribed by the radiation oncologist. They work closely with the dosimetrist.
Radiation therapist: They administer daily radiation treatments prescribed by the radiation oncologist.
Dosimetrist: Calculates the exact dose of radiation necessary.
Radiation oncology nurse: Cares for the patient before and after treatment.
Social worker: Provide practical help for patients and their families.
Dietitian: Monitors patients weight and nutritional problems. May prescribe nutritional supplements and provide recipes for meals.
Nuclear medicine radiologists: Known as nuclear radiologists, these are doctors who use radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to diagnose and treat diseases. These radioactive materials may be injected into a patient's veins or they may be swallowed. Typical uses: nuclear stress test, or brachytherapy in the treatment of female cancers.

Rheumatology What Happens In Rheumatology

The role of this department is to treat and care for patients with rheumatic and immunologic diseases and disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and scleroderma. This division will treat patients on an inpatient and outpatient basis, and may also include patients in clinical trials to test new drugs and treatments.

What Is Treated In Rheumatology

Rheumatoid arthritis.
Systemic lupus erythematosus.
Fibromyalgia.
Dermato-and polymyositis.
Ankylosing spondylitis.
Scleroderma.
Systemic vasculitis.
Dermatomyositis.

Doctors Who Work In Rheumatology

Rheumatologist: Doctors who specialize in treating arthritis and related rheumatic diseases.

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Surgery What Happens In Surgery

All hospitals have a general surgery unit which treat patients both in emergency situations and for scheduled procedures. Surgeries performed range from appendicitis to hernias and life threatening diseases of the stomach, lungs and chest. Some hospitals will also offer specialized surgical procedures in one or more of the following areas:

Breast surgery.
Cardiothoracic surgery (heart).
Colon and rectal surgery.
Dental, oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Endocrine surgery (primarily tumors).
Hand surgery.
Head and neck surgery.
Lung volume reduction surgery (emphysema).
Neurological surgery (brain and nerves).
Ophthalmological surgery (eye).
Orthopedic surgery (bones of the body, strains, fractures, broken bones).
Pediatric surgery (children).
Plastic surgery.
Thoracic surgery (chest).
Transplantation.
Urology.
Vascular.
Weight loss surgery.

Types Of Surgeons

Surgeons tend to be some of the most highly educated doctors in the U.S. Most will specialize in an area, for example there are orthopedic surgeons, neurological surgeons, cosmetic and reconstruction surgeons and trauma surgeons (who deal with accidents and emergency).

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