What is a specialist?

If you are experiencing specific symptoms or a medical condition, your primary care provider might refer you to a “specialist.” A specialist is a physician who concentrates on a subspecialty. Most doctors have some extra expertise in one or more kinds of medicine. There are several hundred subspecialties and specialties in the medical profession. To be a specialist in a specific filed, a doctor has had to undergo extra training in that specific subspecialty and treatment area.

Some More Common Specialists

There are hundreds of different medical subspecialties, but there are some specialists that you are much more likely to see during your lifetime. Here are some of the more common specialists you might be referred to in the Lakeway Area:

  • Anesthesiologists – These physicians give you drugs to numb pain or to put you to sleep during surgery, childbirth, or other procedures. They will monitor your vital signs while you are under the effects of anesthesia.
  • Cardiologists – These physicians are experts on the blood vessels and the heart. You might be referred to a cardiologist for high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, a heart attack, or heart failure.
  • Allergist/Immunologist – These specialists treat some autoimmune diseases as well as eczema, asthma, and food allergies. They also perform allergy testing.
  • Colon and Rectal Surgeons – These doctors treat problems with the colon, small intestine, and rectum. They treat hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer. They also do colon cancer tests, such as colonoscopies.
  • Critical Care Specialists – These physicians care for those who are seriously injured or critically ill. If you have been in a serious accident or suffer organ failure, you might see a critical care specialist.
  • Endocrinologists – These specialists treat hormonal issues and problems with metabolism. They treat conditions such as infertility, bone and calcium disorders, thyroid problems, and diabetes.
  • Dermatologists – If you have skin, hair, and nail issues that need to be addressed, a dermatologist is a specialist who can treat these conditions. These physicians treat skin cancer, moles, scars, acne, rashes, and skin allergies.
  • Gastroenterologists – These are specialists in digestive organs, such as the bowels, stomach, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. If you suffer from abdominal pain, diarrhea, cancers in the digestive organs, ulcers or jaundice, you might be referred to one of these doctors.
  • Hematologists – These physicians specialize in treating blood disorders and diseases as well as diseases of the lymph glands and spleen, such as anemia, hemophilia, leukemia, and sickle cell disease.
  • Infectious Disease Specialists – These doctors treat and diagnose infections throughout the body, including fevers, pneumonia, HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis, and Lyme disease. Some of these doctors specialize in travel medicine or preventive medicine.
  • Neurologists – Specializing in the nervous system, these doctors treat conditions that involve the brain, nerves, and spinal cord. These physicians treat epilepsy, spinal tumors, brain tumors, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists – These are physicians who focus on women’s health, including pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Oncologists – These doctors specialize in treating cancer. They can do chemotherapy treatments and prescribe other cancer treatments.
  • Otolaryngologists – These doctors are often referred to as ear, nose, and throat specialists. They treat conditions of the ears, nose, throat, head, neck, sinuses, and respiratory system. They can do reconstructive surgery on the neck and head.
  • Rheumatologists – Focusing on diseases of the muscles, bones, joints, and tendons, these doctors treat osteoporosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, sports injuries, repetitive injuries, or autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
  • Sleep Medicine Specialists – These doctors work to find out the cause behind your sleep problems and then treat those issues. They might conduct studies in a sleep lab or use take-home testing to chart your sleep-wake patterns and your sleep breathing patterns.