There are subtle differences between specialists, doctors and surgeons, but do you know their specialist treatment area from their title? See our quick guide to the difference between a pulmonologist and a cardiologist.
For most of us our GP, who is a primary care physician, will be the first port of call if we have a problem or an illness. It is these doctors who will be able to treat and manage a large variety of conditions and illnesses. If special tests or the attention of a specialist, who will have special advanced education, is required, they will be able to refer the patient to a specialist usually operating in a local hospital.
The hospital-based specialist will then see the patient in their clinic as they will take 'ownership' of the patient. It is their job to then inform the GP of any diagnosis or progress in care.
Once the main work or procedures which require the specific training has taken place, the patient may then, if required, return to their Local GP for everyday care.
So do you know what titles mean what when you get to the hospital?
There are a huge number of specialists that have different titles that convey which area of medicine they cover.
Diagnosis and treatment of heart disease
Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the stomach and intestines
Diagnosis and treatment of lung disease and respiratory problems
For diabetes, thyroid problems to illnesses involving hormones
Deals with the medical care of infants and children
Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
Educated in the workings of the musculoskeletal system; diagnosis and treatment for bones, joints
Diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, blood, blood vessels, connective tissue disorders
Diagnosis and treatment of visual disorders and eye disease
Diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease
Diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the female genital organs
Diagnosis and treatment of skin irritations, rashes and diseases
As with any job there is a career hierarchy within a hospital. With regards to the medical side of things this is as follows (from the top down)