Physicians provide the services of prevention, diagnosis and treatment to individuals suffering from mental illness or physical ailments, injuries, or diseases.
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Physicians may choose to pursue a career in primary care (family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics) or may choose to train more intensely in one of the medical subspecialties as a surgeon or in one of several other fields. Some of these fields are listed below.
Allergy and immunology - immunization specialist.
Anesthesiology - giving anesthesia for surgical procedures.
Cardiology – study of the structure, function, disorders and treatment of the heart.
Dermatology – the study of diseases of the skin.
Family Practice Medicine – the study of general, comprehensive health care for patients of all ages and genders.
Forensic Pathology – the study of tissues and body fluids to determine the cause of sudden, questionable, or unexpected death.
Gerontology – study of the aging process, and health and diseases of the elderly.
Gynecology – the study of diseases and disorders affecting the female reproductive organs.
Internal medicine – study of the diagnosis and treatment (non-surgical) of diseases of the internal organs.
Neonatology – treatment of diseases and care of newborn infants.
Nephrology – study of the functions and diseases of the kidneys.
Neurology – the study of the nervous system and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries that affect it.
Neuropathology – the study of diseases of the nervous system.
Neurosurgery – nervous system surgery.
Nuclear Medicine - radioactivity used in disease diagnosis Obstetrics – the study of pregnancy, childbirth and associated functions.
Ophthalmology – the study of the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and injuries.
Orthopedics – the study of correction and prevention of injuries and disorders of muscles, joints and ligaments.
Otolaryngology – the study of the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the ear, nose and throat.
Pathology – the study and diagnosis of health problems by examining body fluids, tissue and secretions.
Pediatric – the treatment of injuries, illness and diseases of infants and children.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - rehabilitation of people who have suffered from stroke, heart attack, spinal chord injury, or similar conditions.
Plastic Surgery – corrective and cosmetic surgery.
Preventive Medicine – disease prevention.
Psychiatry – the study of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental and emotional disorders.
Radiology – the study of X-rays and radioactive substances to examine the structure and function of the human body and to diagnose and treat disease.
Surgery – using manual or surgical instruments to treat injuries, illness and conditions of the human body.
Urology – the study of disease and disorders of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs.
Physicians work in variety of settings including private offices, hospitals, clinics, research facilities, laboratories, government agencies, public health or home health care agencies, colleges or universities. They may specialize in a number of different areas. They are trained to properly examine patients and their medical history, assess the patient's needs, and then perform and evaluate diagnostic tests and appropriate treatment(s). Physicians may become an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine), or a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). M.D.s and D.O.s are fully trained and licensed physicians who can specialize in family practice or in any other specific field of medicine. D.O.s have additional training in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (O.M.T.), a hands-on treatment tool that focuses on the body's structure and function, and its ability to help heal itself. A physician's work can be emotionally and physically demanding, but also challenging and rewarding. Physicians have the opportunity to help heal patients but also face the stress of caring.
They usually work 60 hours a week or more. Their hours are often irregular, and sometimes include evenings and weekends. Some physicians are frequently on-call in the event of an emergency situation, however, more and more physicians are joining networks or groups which allow them to share in the responsibilities of on-call duties.
High school students should study biology, chemistry, mathematics, health and related courses. Premedical students should complete undergraduate coursework in physics, biology, mathematics, English and chemistry. Courses in humanities and social sciences is also recommended. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, students apply for medical school. Medical school acceptance is competitive and students must submit transcripts, scores from MCAT (medical college admission test), and letters of recommendation. Medical school includes classes in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, medical ethics and related courses. Medical students work with patients under the supervision of physicians, and do rotations in various specialties including family practice, pediatrics, gynecology, psychiatry and surgery. Following medical school, individuals must complete a residency program and apply for a license. Again, this may vary depending upon an individual's area of specialization.
If a student wishes to specialize in a particular area of medicine they may take board certifications.
Medical College of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Primary Care Physician: Average $157,180
Physician - Specialist: Average $174,370
Physician - Surgeon: Average $217,000
American Academy of Family Physicians
11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood , KS, 66211-2680
913/906-6000 or 800/274-2237
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007-1098
847/434-4000 or 800/433-9016
American Academy of Physician Assistants
2318 Mill Rd., Suite 1300
Alexandria, VA, 22314-1552
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
5550 Friendship Blvd., Suite 310
Chevy Chase, MD, 20815-7231
American College of Physicians
190 N Independence Mall West
Philadelphia , PA, 19106-1572
215/351-2400 or 215/351-2600 or 800-523-1546, x2600
American College of Surgeons
633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL, 60611-3211
312/202-5000 or 800/621-4111
American Medical Association
330 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60611-5885
312/464-5000 or 800/621-8335
American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
142 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL, 60611-2864
312/202-8000 or 800/621-1773
Association of American Medical Colleges
Section for Student Services
655 K Street NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC, 20001-2399
Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants
563 Carter Court, Suite B
Kimberly, WI, 54136
800/762-8965 or 920/560-5630
Wisconsin Medical Society
330 E. Lakeside Street
PO Box 1109
Madison, WI, 53710-1109
800/762-8975 or 866/442-3800
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