Specialty Descriptions

A specialist is a doctor who provides healthcare services for a specific disease, condition or part of the body. The doctor’s expertise in this specialized area is called the doctor’s “specialty.”

Below are descriptions of each specialty. Pediatrics and Surgery have sub-specialties which can be viewed by clicking the menu below.

Note: Remember, your primary care physician (PCP) can help you coordinate any specialty healthcare services you may need.

Allergy
Allergists diagnose and treat allergic diseases and conditions.

Allergy/Immunology
Allergists/immunologists diagnose and treat allergies, asthma and other diseases of the immune system.

Cardiology
Cardiologists diagnose and treat diseases of the heart.

Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease specialists diagnose and treat diseases of the heart, veins and arteries, such as arrhythmia (a problem with the rhythm of the heartbeat), heart attacks and heart failure.

Chiropractic
Chiropractors use manipulation (adjustment) of the spine and other parts of the body to align the body’s structure, alleviate pain and improve function.

Clinical Biochemical Genetics
Clinical biochemical geneticists evaluate, diagnose and manage care for patients and families with inherited disease, monitor their treatment and determine who are the carriers or non-carriers of the disease.

Dermatology
Dermatologists provide care for skin conditions and diseases.

Endocrinology
Endocrinologists diagnose and treat diseases of the glands, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders, and the hormones they release.

Family Medicine
A family medicine physician provides continuing, comprehensive healthcare for both adults and children. This is a type of primary care physician.

Fertility
Fertility specialists treat reproductive disorders.

Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologists diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the digestive system, which includes the stomach, intestines, mouth and esophagus.

General Practice
A general practice physician provides continuing, comprehensive healthcare for both adults and children. This is a type of primary care physician.

Geriatric Medicine
Geriatricians provide healthcare services specifically for the often complex health needs of older adults.

Gynecologic Oncology
Gynecologic oncologists diagnose and treat cancers of the female reproductive system, which includes the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix and vagina.

Gynecology
Gynecologists provide primary, routine care for and treat conditions that affect the female reproductive system, which includes the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix and vagina.

Hand Surgery
Hand surgeons diagnose and treat all problems related to the different structures in the hand, wrist and forearm.

Hematology/Oncology
Hematologists/oncologists diagnose and treat blood diseases and cancers.

Hepatology
Hepatologists diagnose and treat conditions of the liver.

Infectious Disease
Infectious disease specialists diagnose and treat complex incidents of infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi.

Internal Medicine
An internist practices medicine solely on adults (age 18 years and older), with focus on diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases in adults. This is a type of Primary care physician.

Interventional Cardiology
Interventional cardiologists provide diagnostic care of and nonsurgical treatments for the heart.

Interventional Pain Management
Interventional pain management specialists diagnose and treat chronic pain-related disorders through minimally-invasive techniques. Chronic pain is persistent or prolonged pain.

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Neonatal-perinatal specialists provide comprehensive care to newborn infants, particularly those who were premature or have health issues. They consult with pediatricians on the care of newborns and consult with obstetricians on the care of mothers with high-risk pregnancies.

Nephrology
Nephrologists diagnose and treat diseases of the kidney.

Neurology
Neurologists diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerve tissue. Neurologists do not perform surgery.

Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeons perform surgery to treat conditions or disorders that affect the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerve tissue.

Obstetrics/Gynecology
Obstetricians/gynecologists provide general medical care for women, as well as care related to pregnancy and the female reproductive system.

Oncology
Oncologists diagnose and treat cancers.

Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologists provide medical and surgical care for the eyes. They may write prescriptions for glasses/contacts, as well as treat eye conditions and diseases.

Ophthalmology – Retina
Ophthalmologists with a specialization in retinas provide medical and surgical care for the eyes, with a particular focus on the retina (the tissue at the back of the eye).

Optometry
Optometrists provide primary, routine care for the eyes, including diagnosing eye disease, visual conditions (such as nearsightedness) and prescribing glasses and contact lenses.

Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral/maxillofacial surgeons provide care for patients with problem teeth, misaligned jaws and facial pain, as well as treat cysts and cancer in the jaw/mouth and perform facial cosmetic surgery, if needed.

Orthopedics
Orthopedists diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, ligaments, tendons and joints.

Orthopedics – Hand Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons with a specialty in hand surgery provide specialized care for the hand, which may include both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.

Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical methods to diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, ligaments, tendons and joints.

Otolaryngology
Otolaryngologists provide medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck (also known as an ENT).

Otorhinolaryngology
Otorhinolaryngologists provide medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck (also known as an ENT).

Pain Management
Pain management specialists diagnose and treat chronic pain-related disorders. Chronic pain is persistent or prolonged pain.

Pediatrics (click for additional sub-specialties)

Pediatrics
Pediatricians provide care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Allergy/Immunology
Pediatricians with a specialty in allergy/immunology diagnose and treat allergies, asthma and other diseases of the immune system in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Cardiology
Pediatricians with a specialty in cardiology diagnose and treat diseases of the heart in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Critical Care
Pediatricians with a specialty in critical care provide close, constant care to infants and children with life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

Pediatrics – Endocrinology
Pediatricians with a specialty in endocrinology diagnose and treat diseases of the glands, including treating hormone imbalances, in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Gastroenterology
Pediatricians with a specialty in gastroenterology diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the digestive system in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Genetics
Pediatricians with a specialty in genetics diagnose and manage care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with inherited diseases.

Pediatrics – Hematology/Oncology
Pediatricians with a specialty in hematology/oncology diagnose and treat blood diseases and cancers in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Infectious Disease
Pediatricians with a specialty in infectious diseases diagnose and treat complex infections in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Nephrology
Pediatricians with a specialty in nephrology diagnose and treat diseases of the kidney in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Neurology
Pediatricians with a specialty in neurology diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerve tissue in infants, children, adolescents and young adults. These pediatricians do not perform surgery.

Pediatrics – Ophthalmology
Pediatricians with a specialty in ophthalmology provide medical and surgical care for the eyes in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Orthopedics
Pediatricians with a specialty in orthopedics diagnose and treat injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, ligaments, tendons and joints in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Otolaryngology
Pediatricians with a specialty in otolaryngology provide medical and surgical management and treatment to infants, children, adolescents and young adults with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck (also known as an ENT).

Pediatrics – Pulmonology
Pediatricians with a specialty in pulmonology diagnose, treat and manage complex conditions of the lungs and upper respiratory tract, such as emphysema or tuberculosis, in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics – Rheumatology
Pediatricians with a specialty in rheumatology diagnose and treat arthritis and other conditions that affect the bones, joints or muscles in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Pediatrics -Surgery
Pediatricians with a specialty in surgery specialize in surgery for infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation
Physical medicine/rehabilitation physicians treat injury or illness nonsurgically to decrease pain and restore function.

Plastic Reconstructive Surgery
Plastic reconstructive surgeons perform surgery on abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease to improve function or approximate normal appearance.

Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgeons perform surgery to reshape structures of the body.

Podiatry
Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.

Pulmonology
Pulmonologists diagnose, treat and manage complex conditions of the lungs and upper respiratory tract, such as pneumonia, emphysema, asthma or tuberculosis.

Pulmonology (Critical Care)
Pulmonologists with a specialty in critical care diagnose, treat and manage life-threatening conditions of the lungs and upper respiratory tract, such as pneumonia, emphysema, asthma or tuberculosis.

Radiation Oncology
Radiation oncologists treat patients with cancer, primarily with radiation therapy.

Rheumatology
Rheumatologists diagnose and treat conditions that affect the bones, joints or muscles, including arthritis.

Surgery (click for additional sub-specialties)

Surgery – Cardiac
Cardiac surgeons perform surgery on the heart and/or the major blood vessels of the heart.

Surgery – Cardiothoracic
Cardiothoracic surgeons perform surgery on the heart, the major blood vessels and/or other organs in the chest, such as the lungs, trachea, esophagus and thymus gland.

Surgery – Colon/Rectal
Colon/rectal surgeons perform surgical and nonsurgical treatment of colon and rectal problems.

Surgery – Endovascular
Endovascular surgeons treat vascular disease (disease affecting the blood vessels) by performing surgery from inside the blood vessel.

Surgery – General
General surgeons perform operations to repair tissues or to treat a variety of conditions, such as injuries or disease (for example, surgical procedures on the gallbladder, skin, breast, digestive tract, etc.).

Surgery – Thoracic
Thoracic surgeons perform operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus and other organs in the chest.

Surgery – Transplant
Transplant surgeons perform surgeries that replace a person’s nonfunctioning or poorly functioning organs with a functional organ from a donor.

Surgery – Vascular
Vascular surgeons perform surgeries on the blood vessels to treat disorders of the blood vessels.

Urogynecology
Urogynecologists provide primary, routine care for and treat conditions that affect the female pelvic organs and the muscles and tissues that support these organs. Conditions that affect the pelvic organs include incontinence (trouble controlling the bladder).

Urology
Urologists provide primary, routine care for and treat disorders of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs, including incontinence (bladder leakage), kidney stones and cancer of the bladder or kidneys.