There are many different fields of specialty medicine that can help with different issues that someone might have. Specialty medicine is important for this specific reason, and knowing for sure which you need help from means a lot in most situations.
Whether you’re dealing with a sports injury, an accident, or just age-related wear and tear, your bones, muscles, and joints can take a beating. And when they do, it’s important to get the right kind of care. That’s where orthopedics comes in.
Going to an orthopedic treatment center might be a little intimidating, but if you need to see an orthopedic doctor or surgeon you don’t have much of a choice. If you’re curious as to why this is the case, let’s take a look. That’s the topic of today’s article.
Table of Contents
What is Specialty Medicine?
There is a lot to know about specialty medicine, but it’s important to know what specialty medicine is in order to move forward with this article. Here’s a detailed list of different medical specialties so you can better understand:
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of children.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of skin conditions.
- ENT (ear, nose, and throat):
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of conditions related to the ear, nose, and throat.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of women’s health issues.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of bones, joints, and muscles.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of heart conditions.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of digestive issues.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of hormonal conditions.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of kidney conditions.
- Doctors that specialize in the treatment of lung conditions.
As you can see, there are many different types of specialty medicine. And each one is important for different reasons. Each specialty doctor is still a doctor, just like your primary care physician, but they go through different types of training so they can better treat their specific area of focus.
That means that both specialists and regular doctors are important, and each has their own role to play in your health. Your primary care physician is the one you see for your regular check-ups, and they’re the ones who can refer you to a specialist if they think you need one.
For example, let’s say you go to your primary care physician because you’re having some pain in your kidneys. They may do some tests and then refer you to a nephrologist, who is a kidney specialist. The nephrologist will then be able to give you a more detailed diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific condition.
That being said, a nephrologist wouldn’t have the same qualifications as your primary care physician. They wouldn’t be able to do your regular check-ups, for example. So it’s important to understand the difference between specialists and regular doctors.
Specialists are important because they provide care for specific conditions that regular doctors may not be able to treat as effectively. But that doesn’t mean that specialists are better than regular doctors. They just have different roles to play in your overall health care.
Think of it like this: you wouldn’t go to a cardiologist for a cold, just like you wouldn’t go to your primary care physician for a heart condition. Each type of doctor has their own area of expertise, and it’s important to see.
Orthopedic Doctors and Surgeons, What do They Do?
Since we’ve already covered what specialty medicine is, let’s move on to orthopedic doctors and surgeons. These are the doctors that specialize in the treatment of bones, joints, and muscles. Here’s a more detailed list of what these doctors do:
- Treat injuries and conditions of the bones, joints, and muscles.
- Perform surgery to correct injuries or conditions of the bones, joints, and muscles.
- Prescribe physical therapy to help patients recover from injuries or conditions of the bones, joints, and muscles.
- Monitor patients’ progress after surgery or injury to ensure that they are healing properly.
- Recommend lifestyle changes or other treatments to help prevent further injury or pain.
As you can see, orthopedic doctors and surgeons have a lot of responsibility when it comes to the bones, joints, and muscles. They are trained to treat both injuries and conditions, as well as perform surgery if necessary.
Well, to be clear, surgeons perform surgery. Doctors recommend surgery. The two professions work very closely together, but that distinction is very important.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons usually complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical school. After that, surgeons complete a five-year residency program in orthopedic surgery.
During their residency, they receive training in both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for conditions and injuries of the bones, joints, and muscles. They also learn how to perform various types of orthopedic surgery.
After completing their residency, orthopedic doctors and surgeons may choose to complete a fellowship. Fellowships are usually one to two years long and provide training in a specific area of orthopedic surgery.
For example, there are fellowships available in:
- Sports medicine
- Spine surgery
- Pediatric orthopedics
- Hand surgery.
After completing a fellowship, an orthopedic doctor or surgeon will be able to specialize in their chosen area of focus.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons must be licensed in order to practice. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but most states require completion of an accredited residency program and passing of a written and oral examination.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. They may also work in other settings, such as orthopedic research centers or sports medicine facilities.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons typically work full time. However, they may need to work evenings or weekends to meet the needs of their patients. They may also be on call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies.
The Importance of Seeing an Orthopedic Doctor for Orthopedic Care
We feel like we’ve already explained this pretty well, but just in case someone hasn’t quite understood the importance of seeing an orthopedic doctor for orthopedic issues, we’ll break it down for you one more time.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons are trained specifically in the treatment of bones, joints, and muscles. That means they’re the best type of doctor to see for any issues you may be having in those areas.
Your primary care physician is a great resource for your overall health, but they may not be as familiar with the specifics of orthopedic care. That’s why it’s so important to see an orthopedic doctor or surgeon if you’re dealing with an injury or condition related to the bones, joints, or muscles.
An orthopedic doctor or surgeon will be able to give you a more detailed diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific condition. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have about your injury or condition.
If you’re dealing with an orthopedic issue, it’s important to see an orthopedic doctor or surgeon as soon as possible. The sooner you’re seen, the sooner you can get a diagnosis and start treatment.
Delaying treatment can often make an injury or condition worse. So if you’re dealing with any pain, swelling, stiffness, or other symptoms related to the bones, joints, or muscles, don’t wait to see an orthopedic doctor or surgeon.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can ask your primary care physician for a referral. You can also search for orthopedic doctors or surgeons online or in the phone book. There is definitely no shortage of professionals in this field.
It’s also a good idea to read reviews of different orthopedic doctors and surgeons before making a decision. You can find reviews online or from people you know who have seen an orthopedic doctor or surgeon in the past.
Once you’ve found an orthopedic doctor or surgeon that you’re comfortable with, you can schedule an appointment. Most orthopedic doctors and surgeons offer both appointments and walk-in hours, so you should be able to get seen relatively quickly. At your appointment, be sure to bring a list of questions and concerns.
The more information you can give the orthopedic doctor or surgeon, the better they’ll be able to help you. Especially, and we mean this, make sure to tell them if you do drugs. They need to know what drugs you’re doing to make sure that they treat you correctly.
Some anesthetics can and will make your heart stop beating if it’s mixed with certain drugs. This is very serious business, always be honest with your doctors about your drug usage.
Getting the Care You Need
The larger world of medicine can feel a little overwhelming, to say the least. Knowing who you can see for certain issues can make your experience that much better and easier, but you definitely need to do a bit of research first.
Fortunately, all the information that you need to make a good choice is out there and you can find it pretty easily if you know where to look for it.