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heart pulseMedical Specialists

Medical specialists are experts in certain fields of medicine. They either treat specific parts of the body, such as the back or the brain, or they specialize in certain diseases, such as cancer. Family doctors keep a list of local specialists and can help patients choose the right specialist for each medical issue. In many cases specialists require a referral from a family doctor before they will see a patient. Here is a list of the most common types of specialists. Study the list and then check your understanding by taking the quiz.

allergist: specializes in determining food and environmental allergies
anesthesiologist: specializes in pain prevention during surgery
cardiologist: heart specialist
chiropractor: back specialist
dentist: tooth specialist
dermatologist: skin specialist
fertility specialist: helps people who have difficulty getting pregnant
gynecologist: specializes in women's needs
massage therapist: specializes in muscle relaxation
midwife: helps women deliver babies in a natural way
naturopath: specializes in natural cures and remedies
neurologist: brain specialist
obstetrician: specialist for pregnant women
occupational therapist: specializes in workplace health
oncologist: tumour specialist, including cancer
ophthalmologist: specializes in eye diseases
pediatrician: specialist for babies and children
physical therapist: specializes in the body's movement
podiatrist: foot specialist
psychiatrist: specialist in mental health
radiologist: specializes in imaging tests

Referral Quiz

Read the patient complaints. Which specialist does each patient need?

1 I have a terrible rash on my arms and legs. I think I'm allergic to dairy food, but it also might be grass.
2 My husband and I just took a home pregnancy test, and it came out positive. We want to know when we are due and we want to make sure the fetus is healthy.
3 I still can't walk and it's been three months since my accident. I hate being stuck in a wheelchair.
4 The test results show that I have an advanced form of blood cancer.
5 My left eye has an infection that won't go away and my vision has been blurry for two weeks now.
6 I don't want to take any drugs that will cause me to become addicted to them, but I do need some sort of pain relief.
7 I've been having major chest pains this week. I'm also having trouble breathing.
8 I get terrible acne and I have tried all of the products in the pharmacy. I don't know what to do now.
9 My baby is not developing properly. She hasn't put on any weight in two months and she keeps getting ear infections.
10 My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for three years. We have tried everything that the books suggest.

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