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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Doctors: Who Does What?

Doctors: Who Does What?

Have you ever heard the professional name of a specific kind of doctor and wondered what, exactly, that doctor does? You’re not alone. The medical profession is a virtual alphabet soup of specialties. Here’s a quick look at what some of the most common titles mean (and here’s hoping you never have to get to know most of them):

Allergist: Allergies and immune system disorders.

Andrologist: Male reproductive health.

Audiologist: Hearing loss or damage.

Cardiologist: Heart and blood vessels.

Chiropractor: Provides alternative therapy to treat and prevent the neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Not a medical doctor.

Critical/Intensive-care Specialist: Treats life-threatening conditions.

Dermatologist: Skin, nails, hair, sweat glands.

Endocrinologist: Hormones and glands.

Family/General Practitioner: Provides routine, non-emergency treatment and advice on an ongoing basis.

Gastroenterologist: The gastrointestinal tract and organs (stomach, liver, esophagus, gall bladder, bile ducts, intestines, pancreas, anus, etc.).

Geriatrician: Provides routine treatment for elderly patients.

Gynecologist:
Female reproductive health.

Hematologist: Blood diseases.

Hospitalist:
Manages the care of patients who are hospitalized.

Immunologist: Immune system diseases and disorders.

Infectious Disease Specialist: Diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites.

Internist: Specializes in treating adults.

Neonatologist:
Premature and critically ill newborns.

Nephrologist:
Kidneys.

Neurologist:
Diagnoses and treats brain conditions, including seizures, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Obstetrician: Specializes in childbirth, C-sections, and gynecological surgeries.

Oncologist: Diagnoses and treats cancer.

Ophthalmologist: Eyes and vision.

Orthopedist: Bones, ligaments, joints, and tendons.

Osteopath: Licensed physicians who earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO) instead of a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD), many osteopaths serve as general practitioners. Specially trained in the nervous system and the musculoskelatal system.

Palliative Care Specialist: Alleviating chronic pain, and end of life care.

Pathologist: Diagnoses conditions from tissue samples.

Pediatrician:
Specializes in infants, children, and adolescents.

Podiatrist: Feet and ankles.

Pulmonologist: Lung disease and disorders.

Radiologist: Interprets X-rays, sonograms, mammograms, CT scans, and MRI scans.

Rheumatologist:
Treats rheumatism, vasculitis, and autoimmune disorders.

Urologist:
Kidneys and urinary system.

Vascular Medicine Specialist: Arteries and veins.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.