Working together as an interdisciplinary team, many highly trained health professionals besides medical practitioners are involved in the delivery of modern health care. Examples include: nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, laboratory scientists, pharmacists, physician assistants, podiatrists physiotherapists, respiratory therapists,speech therapists, occupational therapists, radiographers, dietitians, and bioengineers.
The scope and sciences underpinning human medicine overlap many other fields. Dentistry, while considered by some a separate discipline from medicine, is a medical field.
A patient admitted to hospital is usually under the care of a specific team based on their main presenting problem, e.g., the Cardiology team, who then may interact with other specialties, e.g., surgical, radiology, to help diagnose or treat the main problem or any subsequent complications/developments.
Physicians have many specializations and subspecializations into certain branches of medicine, which are listed below. There are variations from country to country regarding which specialties certain subspecialties are in.
The main branches of medicine are:
▪ Basic sciences of medicine; this is what every physician is educated in, and some return to in biomedical research. ▪ Medical specialties
▪ Interdisciplinary fields, where different medical specialties are mixed to function in certain occasions.
▪ Anatomy is the study of the physical structure of organisms. In contrast to macroscopic or gross anatomy, cytology and histology are concerned with microscopic structures. ▪ Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry taking place in living organisms, especially the structure and function of their chemical components. ▪ Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems by means of the methods of Mechanics. ▪ Biostatistics is the application of statistics to biological fields in the broadest sense. A knowledge of biostatistics is essential in the planning, evaluation, and interpretation of medical research. It is also fundamental to epidemiology and evidence-based medicine. ▪ Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that uses the methods of physics and physical chemistry to study biological systems. ▪ Cytology is the microscopic study of individual cells. ▪ Embryology is the study of the early development of organisms. ▪ Endocrinology is the study of hormones and their effect throughout the body of animals. ▪ Epidemiology is the study of the demographics of disease processes, and includes, but is not limited to, the study of epidemics. ▪ Genetics is the study of genes, and their role in biological inheritance. ▪ Histology is the study of the structures of biological tissues by light microscopy, electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. ▪ Immunology is the study of the immune system, which includes the innate and adaptive immune system in humans, for example. ▪ Medical physics is the study of the applications of physics principles in medicine. ▪ Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, including protozoa, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. ▪ Molecular biology is the study of molecular underpinnings of the process of replication, transcription and translation of the genetic material. ▪ Neuroscience includes those disciplines of science that are related to the study of the nervous system. A main focus of neuroscience is the biology and physiology of the human brain and spinal cord. Some related clinical specialties include neurology, neurosurgery andpsychiatry. ▪ Nutrition science (theoretical focus) and dietetics (practical focus) is the study of the relationship of food and drink to health and disease, especially in determining an optimal diet. Medical nutrition therapy is done by dietitians...
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