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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A specialty in medicine is a branch of medical science. After completing medical school, physicians or surgeons usually further their medical education in a specific specialty of medicine by completing a multiple year residency. Medical practitioners who engage in a medical specialty are known as medical specialists.


Medical specialties

In this table, as in many healthcare arenas, medical specialties are organized into the following groups:

  • Surgical specialties focus on manually operative and instrumental techniques to treat disease.
  • Medical specialties that focus on the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of disease.
  • Diagnostic specialties focus more purely on diagnosis of disorders.
Specialty Code Group Subspecialties Focus Salary (USD)[1]
Anesthesia AN, PAN Surgery[2] Pediatrics, Pain management, Intensive Care, Critical Care, Ob/gyn, Cardiac Surgery, Trauma Care, Pre and Post Operative Assessment and Care, Generalist (covers all the sub-specialities) Anesthesia: the administration of drugs to dull sensation or awareness 344,691
Cardiology Medicine Disease of the cardiovascular system. The field is commonly divided into subdisciplines dealing with congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology. 370,295
Cardiovascular surgery Surgery The heart and major blood vessels of the chest. 460,000
Clinical laboratory sciences Diagnostic Application of diagnostic techniques in medical laboratories such as assays, microscope analysis. 160,300 [3]
Clinical Neurophysiology Diagnostic The physiology or function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. These kinds of tests can be divided into recordings of: (1) spontaneous or continuously running electrical activity, or (2) stimulus evoked responses.
Dermatology D, DS Medicine Skin and its appendages (hair, nails, sweat glands etc). 316,473
Emergency medicine EM Medicine Palliative medicine, medical toxicology, pediatric emergency medicine, sports medicine, undersea and hyperbaric medicine The initial management of emergent medical conditions, often in hospital emergency departments or the field. 255,530
Endocrinology Medicine The endocrine system (i.e. endocrine glands and hormones) and its diseases, including diabetes and thyroid diseases.
Family Medicine FM Medicine
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Sports Medicine
Continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family, integrating the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences to treat patients of all ages, sexes, organ systems, and diseases. 161,200
Gastroenterology GI Medicine The alimentary tract. 395,162
General surgery GS Surgery Cosmetic surgery, Trauma surgery, Colorectal surgery Traditionally, it was surgery of the skin, endocrine glands, and abdomen (and, sometimes, the mammary glands). In some countries, it is still deemed a prerequisite training prior to progression to training in certain subspecialties, but lately has evolved into its own subspecialty. 327,902
Geriatrics IMG Medicine[2] Elderly patients. 177,392
Hematology Medicine The blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases. Hematology is grouped with oncology in the US, but not in the UK. 283,000
Hepatology Medicine The liver and biliary tract, usually a part of gastroenterology.
Infectious disease ID Medicine Diseases caused by biological agents. 168,000
Intensive care medicine Medicine Life support and management of critically ill patients, often in an ICU.
Maxillofacial surgery Maxfacs, OMFS Surgery Craniofacial surgery, Head and neck, facial cosmetic surgery, Craniomaxillofacial trauma Disease of the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.
Nephrology Medicine Kidney disease.
Neurology N Medicine Diseases involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems
Neurosurgery NS Surgery Disease of the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and spinal column. 530,000
Obstetrics and gynecology OB/GYN Surgery[2] Female reproductive organs, pregnancy, and childbirth. 299,620 [5]
Oncology ON Medicine Cancer and other malignant diseases, often grouped with hematology. 371,218
Ophthalmology OPH Surgery Diseases of the visual pathways, including the eyes, brain, etc. 295,510
Orthopedic surgery ORS Surgery hand surgery, surgical sports medicine, adult reconstruction, spine surgery, foot and ankle, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopaedic trauma surgery, paediatric orthopedic surgery Injury and disease of the musculoskeletal system. 436,481
Otolaryngology, or ENT ORL, ENT Surgery Head and neck, facial cosmetic surgery, Neurotology, Laryngology Treatment of ear, nose, and throat disorders. The term head and neck surgery defines a closely related specialty which is concerned mainly with the surgical management of cancer of the same anatomical structures. 397,399
Palliative care PLM Medicine A relatively modern branch of clinical medicine that deals with pain and symptom relief and emotional support in patients with terminal illnesses including cancer and heart failure.
Pathology PTH Diagnostic Understanding disease through examination of molecules, cells, tissues and organs. The term encompasses both the medical specialty which uses tissues and body fluids to obtain clinically useful information, as well as the related scientific study of disease processes. 247,506
Pediatrics PD Medicine Children. Like Internal medicine, pediatrics has many subspecialities for specific age ranges, organ systems, disease classes, and sites of care delivery. Most subspecialities of adult medicine have a pediatric equivalent such as pediatric cardiology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric hematology, pediatric oncology, pediatric ophthalmology, and neonatology. deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents (from newborn to age 16-21, depending on the country). 185,913[6]
Pediatric surgery Surgery Treats a wide variety of thoracic and abdominal (and sometimes urologic) diseases of childhood.
Physical medicine and rehabilitation PM&R Medicine (or physiatry) is concerned with functional improvement after injury, illness, or congenital disorders.
Plastic surgery PS Surgery Cosmetic surgery, Burn, Microsurgery, Hand surgery, Craniofacial surgery Elective cosmetic surgery as well as reconstructive surgery after traumatic or operative mutilation. 349,499 [7]
Proctology PRO Medicine Disease in the rectum, anus, and colon.
Psychiatry P Medicine The bio-psycho-social study of the etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cognitive, perceptual, emotional and behavioral disorders. Related non-medical fields include psychotherapy and clinical psychology. 200,871
Pulmonology Medicine The lungs and respiratory system. Pulmonology is generally considered a branch of internal medicine, although it is closely related to intensive care medicine when dealing with patients requiring mechanical ventilation. 265,907
Radiology R, DR Diagnostic The use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis. X-rays, etc. 440,004
Rheumatology RHU Medicine Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases of the joints and other organ systems, such as arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.
Surgical oncology SO Surgery Curative and palliative surgical approaches to cancer treatment.
Thoracic surgery TS Surgery Surgery of the organs of the thoracic cavity: the heart, lungs, and great vessels. 376,000 [8]
Transplant surgery TTS Surgery Transplantation of organs from one body to another.
Trauma surgery TRS Surgery Surgical treatment of traumatic injury. 352,971
Urology U Surgery Urinary tracts of males and females, and the male reproductive system. It is often practiced together with andrology ("men's health"). 365,999
Vascular surgery VS Surgery The peripheral blood vessels, i.e. those outside of the chest (usually operated on by cardiovascular surgeons) and of the central nervous system (treated by neurosurgery). 365,882


The mean annual salary of a medical specialist is $175,011[9] in the US, and $272,000 [9] for surgeons. However, because of commodity inflation, increasing negligent costs, steep price rise of rental, the annual salary range of a medical specialist varies and is not rising as fast as other professional pay.

Specialties by country


Australia and New Zealand

Specialty training in Australia and New Zealand is overseen by the specialty colleges:

Asia (from eGuide Business Directories)


Specialty training in Canada is overseen by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada


Specialty training in India is overseen by the Medical Council of India which is responsible for recognition of post graduate training and by the National Board of Examinations. and education of Ayurveda in overseen by Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), the council conducts u.g and p.g courses all over India, while Central Council of Homoeopathy does the same in the field of Homeopathy.

United States

There are three agencies or organizations in the United States which collectively oversee physician board certification of MD and DO (osteopathic) physicians in the 26 approved medical specialties recognized in the United States. These organizations are the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Medical Association; the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS) and the American Osteopathic Association; the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) and the American Association of Physician Specialists. Each of these agencies and their associated national medical organization functions as its various specialty academies, colleges and societies.

Certifying Board National Organization Physician Type

All boards of certification now require that medical practitioners demonstrate, by examination, continuing mastery of the core knowledge and skills for a chosen specialty. Recertification varies by particular specialty between every seven and every ten years.

Other uses

In the U.S. Army, the term "medical specialist" refers to occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians and physician assistants, also known as allied health professionals. Also included in the term "medical specialist", but not in the term "allied health professional" are EMT/combat medics.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Annual. Unless else specified in table, then ref is:'Integrated Care' Practices Adjust Pay, Seek New Markets as Budgets Shrink, June, 2002]
  2. ^ a b c - new grouping of the medical specialties
  3. ^ for an Allergist
  4. ^ New York Times - 2 Lose Pay in Inquiry Into Fertility Clinic. Published: January 22, 1996, calculated as a mean value of the values provided, multiplicated with estimated 9 months per year yields 300,800
  5. ^ : mean of: 219,000 to 302,192
  6. ^
  7. ^ taking the mean values between: Houston, TX: 300.000, Los Angeles, CA: 326,000, Miami, FL: 300,000, New York, NY: 341,000, Seattle, WA: 317,000.
  8. ^ Mean of 218,550 to 533,000
  9. ^ a b -Physician income not rising as fast as other professional pay


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