Physicians and Surgeons: Types, Duties and How To Become One

The duties/roles of Physicians and Surgeons are quite enormous and this is why we have different types of physicians and surgeons. There is an overwhelming demand for healthcare practitioners all over the world. This can be attributed to the recent outbreak of the Corona virus (COVID-19) which drastically affected the world’s population. In a recent study by Josh C. D’Aeth et al on the Optimal Hospital Care Scheduling During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a tremendous increase in the demand for hospital treatment, which has placed a serious strain on health systems all across the world.

To ensure that there is improved patient care, tier-one countries such as the UK have a record number of physicians and surgeons working in the NHS in England. Apart from the clinical settings such as hospitals, health centres and maternity, physicians and surgeons can equally work in nonclinical setups like NGOs etc.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most common questions people have regarding the medical field. Some of these are: Who is a Physician or Doctor? What a doctor actually does, how to train to become a doctor/Physician. The types of Physicians and Surgeons, the different places you may work as a doctor, and some other frequently asked questions are all covered in this article.

Who Is A Physician Or Doctor?

A physician or otherwise known as a medical doctor is a trained medical professional who uses their expertise to promote or restore patients’ physical and emotional well-being. A physician’s work involves engaging with patients and examining them, making diagnoses, and providing effective care.

Who Is A Surgeon?

Surgeons perform operations on patients to repair injuries like broken bones and treat illnesses like malignant tumours, and abnormalities like cleft palates. Doctors and Surgeons are trained to assess and treat patients, as well as advise on preventative care. Patients are frequently referred to them for advice on nutrition, cleanliness, and preventative care.

What Do Physicians and Surgeons Do? – Duties of Physicians and Surgeons

Whether diagnosing, managing, or treating an illness or injury, doctors regularly consult with patients and their caretakers. Although the precise responsibilities of a physician will change based on the type of medicine you choose to practice, all doctors have a common set of duties. Generally, the roles of a Physician/Doctor and Surgeons may include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctors and Surgeons collect the patient’s medical history and carry out a full physical examination. This is to enable them to keep up to date so that results and treatments may be seen.
  • They place orders for examinations and consultations to be carried out by other medical professionals or members of the healthcare team.
  • Doctors and Surgeons examine the results of the tests to look for anything suspicious.
  • They provide suggestions, develop a treatment plan, and then carry out these plans.
  • Take the time to address patients’ concerns and answer any questions they may have concerning their health and well-being.
  • They encourage patients to take better care of themselves by having conversations with them on issues like healthy eating and maintaining good hygiene.

How To Become A Physician/Doctor and A Surgeon

Being a Physician/Doctor and A Surgeon requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment of at least 13 years. Doctors and surgeons are required to have a bachelor’s degree in addition to the degree they get from medical school. This takes an extra four years to accomplish. In addition, students need anywhere from three to nine years of combined internship and residency training, however, this varies according to the speciality.

To achieve a subspecialization, more training in the form of a fellowship lasting between one and three years is required. Here are the conditions and qualifications to be met before one becomes a physician/doctor and a surgeon.

1. Get A Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine, biology, or a closely related discipline is required for entry into the medicine and surgery profession. To be well-prepared for medical school, your academic schedule should include some STEM courses. 

2. Pass The Medical College Admission Test Exam (MCAT)

Applying to medical school requires you to first take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and get a passing score. This is a standardized test used by medical schools to judge whether or not to admit you based on your knowledge, personality, and other characteristics.

3. Apply To Medical School

Several Medical Colleges in the USA offer accelerated 6-8 year programs that combine undergraduate and medical school. Other universities also provide dual master’s programs, allowing students to earn both a master’s and a doctorate in medicine. At medical schools, students learn how to conduct patient exams, make diagnoses based on the results of those exams, and take medical histories.

4. Earn A Medical Degree

Physicians and surgeons need further training beyond that offered by a bachelor’s program. This could be in the form of a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. While there is no set prerequisite degree for medical school, most candidates have some background in biology, physics, or a healthcare-related profession.

5. Undergo and Complete a Residency Program

Upon completion of medical school, the vast majority of medicine and surgery graduates enrol in a resident training program. The time spent in residency might range from three to nine years, depending on the chosen field of medicine. If you want to subspecialize in something like infectious diseases or hand surgery, you’ll need to do a fellowship that lasts anywhere from one to three years.

6. Take The Licencing Exam and Obtain A License

Although licensure for medical doctors and surgeons is required everywhere, each state has its own set of standards. Candidate requirements for licensure include both graduations from an approved medical school and completion of an appropriate residency program.

To practice legally, you’ll need to pass a national test. Doctors of Medicine in the United States take the Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE). Doctor of Osteopathy candidates must pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Test (COMLEX-USA). Get in touch with the medical licensing board in your state for further information.

7. Get Additional Certifications

Although physicians and surgeons (medical and surgical professionals) are not required to have board certification. Then, doing so may improve their chances of finding work in their field. Residency training and passing a speciality certification exam administered by a medical certifying body are both prerequisites for board certification.

Types Of Physicians And Surgeons

Surgeons and doctors often specialize in a certain field. There may be further sub- or speciality-level specialization within their main field of interest. Here are some examples of different kinds of doctors and surgeons.

1. Radiologists

Radiologists are medical professionals that specialize in the diagnosis of injuries and illnesses through the analysis of radiographs and other medical pictures, such as ultrasounds. Students can choose to focus on either diagnostic imaging, which entails analyzing pictures to determine the best course of action, or interventional radiology, which involves making a diagnosis and then treating the patient using noninvasive methods.

2. Cardiologists

Cardiologists are medical specialists who identify and treat illnesses related to the cardiovascular system. A Cardiologist may focus on either adult or pediatric. Despite the similarities between adult and pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiologists tend to treat congenital heart defects rather than acquired heart disease.

3. Neurologists

Neurologists are medical doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating brain abnormalities including Alzheimer’s, ALS, and epilepsy. These doctors may focus on a specific area of medicine, such as autism or behavioural problems, or they may serve as pediatric neurologists who oversee the treatment of children with neurological abnormalities.

4. Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (OB/GYNs)

Obstetricians and Gynaecologists specialize on the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and the female reproductive system as a whole. Women’s health problems, such as cervix cancer, ovarian cysts, and menopausal symptoms, are also among those they diagnose and treat.

5. Paediatricians

Paediatricians are medical professionals who treat newborns, babies, adolescents, and young adults. They are trained to identify and address issues that are unique to the younger demographic. Vaccinations, common illnesses, and minor injuries and infections are what doctors often treat. Some physicians focus on treating severe illnesses that disproportionately afflict children, such as autoimmune diseases.

6. Psychiatrists

Physicians that specialize in mental health are called psychiatrists. Psychologists work with patients to identify and address underlying causes of problematic behaviours and encourage introspective thinking. Long-term psychotherapy and counselling are integral parts of the psychoanalytic process. Certain mental diseases can be helped by medicine, which psychiatrists can prescribe to restore chemical equilibrium.

7. Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and injuries. To restore eyesight or protect it from disorders like glaucoma, surgical procedures may be recommended. Eyeglasses and contact lens fittings and prescriptions are just a few of the other visual treatments that an ophthalmologist may offer.

Other Types of physicians and Surgeons Include:

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