Types of Doctors
It's not a bad thing have an M.D. appear after your name. You have to earn the title of Medical Doctor, however, which is no easy task.
Becoming a doctor requires extreme focus beginning with your first year in college -- and probably before that. As a pre-requisite to medical school you will need plenty of chemistry, biology, math classes...basically, a heavy dose of science courses. When you're done with your Bachelor of Science degree you will take the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT. It's pretty much impossible to gain admittance to a U.S. medical school without taking the MCAT, which tests your knowledge of science, problem solving and critical thinking skills, and the ability to succeed in medical school.
After several years in medical school and a medical residency you will be ready for the M.D. title!
Along your journey to becoming a doctor it's likely that you will choose a specialty. We talk about many types of doctors on Healthcare Jobs 411. On the following pages you'll learn about these physician jobs:
Anesthesiologists - An anesthesiologist is the one who 'puts you out' for surgery and who monitors the patient's vitals.
Dermatologists - If you have a skin problem, go see a dermatologist. As a dermatologist you'll diagnose and treat things like psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, scabies, and acne.
Emergency Medicine Doctors - If you have ever watched the television show ER, then you have a rough idea as to what emergency medicine doctors do. They work in a hospital's emergency room, responding to myriad medical conditions.
Family Practice Doctors or General Practitioners - As a family doctor you'll have regular patients, whole families, who see you for referrals to specialists, for sprained ankles, skin problems, you name it.
Neurologists - If the brain and central nervous system are fascinating to you, then become a neurologist. In this field you may be treating spinal cord injuries or deep brain injuries.
Obstetricians/Gynecologists - As an OB/GYN you could work in a hospital, private practice, or both. Your patients will be women. Every day you will be consulting on pregnancies and childbirth related issues as well as other women's healthcare issues.
Oncologists - Treating cancer is what an oncologist does. Oncologists may end up specializing in the treatment of specific cancers.
Pediatricians - Do you like working with and being around kids? If so, then become a pediatrician. It's a very rewarding job, and you'll often have a steady, devoted clientele.
Plastic Surgeons - Are you the next Dr. 90210? As a plastic or cosmetic surgeon your job will be extremely varied, from doing breast augmentations and facelifts to helping burn victims.
Psychiatry - Unlike psychologists, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has graduated from medical school and can prescribe medications. You will be working with people who suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, and could be located in a hospital's psychiatric ward or in private practice, or both.
Urologists - Ah, the dreaded bladder infection! Time to go see your family doctor, who might refer you to a urologist, a type of doctor specializing in ailments related to the urinary tract.
Physicians who specialize in allergy and immunology are responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses and problems related to the immune systems. Some of what they treat includes asthma, allergies, insect bites and stings, and more. Individuals specializing in this field must complete a medical degree plus five years of residency. The job outlook for these specialists is good, as more and more individuals are being diagnosed with asthmas or allergies and are seeking out treatment by these specialists. However, allergist-immunologist physicians are at the lower end of the salary bracket with a range of $100,000 to $210,000.