While most of us know that the path to a career in medicine is often a long and arduous one, exactly how many types of doctors are there to specialise in?
Even with an aging population and a global pandemic to combat, it still comes as a surprise to many people that the healthcare and social assistance industry is the largest employing sector in Australia. Over 1.7 million Aussies worked in this industry in 2020, with that number projected to increase to 1.9 million by 2024. Needless to say, suitably qualified healthcare workers are in hot demand, and none more so than many different types of doctors.
Here are 26 Common Types Of Doctors In Australia
The average Australian is likely to come across a broad range of specialist doctors within their lifetime, but in most cases – a diagnosis starts at your local general practitioner, or one of the most commonly recognised types of doctors. Think of them as the front door for accessing the house of medicine.
While by no means a fully comprehensive list of the many different types of doctors found in the field, the below specialities are the ones we believe that you’re most likely to be in need of.
Allergist – Otherwise known as an immunologist, an allergist is trained to determine and uncover potentially life threatening allergies in both children and adults. In addition to issuing a diagnosis, they also help to manage certain lung conditions, and immunodeficiency disorders.
Cardiologist – If you have high blood pressure, have experienced heart failure or even irregular heartbeats, a cardiologist is the heart guru that you would have worked with. They often use physical stress tests and electrocardiography to diagnose, treat, and prevent other issues.
Dermatologist – A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails, and is your go-to for a broad range of conditions such as hair loss, psoriasis and even skin cancer. Many patients work with their dermatologists over long periods of time.
Endocrinologist – An endocrinologist is a doctor who specialises in diseases affecting the glands and hormones of the body. By treating the internal glands that produce hormones and other bodily functions, they help with conditions such as diabetes and thyroid issues.
Gastroenterologist – Gastroenterologists treat anything related to your digestive system, which can range from bad breath, acid reflux, and chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. They also conduct colonoscopies for cancer screenings.
General Practitioner – Otherwise known as a GP, a general practitioner is somewhat of a jack of all trades and often refers to the below specialists. While GP’s see a broad range of patient presentations every day, advancements in telehealth means the chance to also work remotely.
Geneticist – These doctors specifically look at whether a health issue has been inherited at birth, or if your genes are causing – or will cause – an issue in the future. More or less, they take charge when it comes to sourcing and diagnosing hereditary health conditions.
Geriatrician – The role of a geriatrician is to take care of the aging process, and can help manage conditions that impact the elderly, such as arthritis, diabetes, and dementia. Aging patients can transfer from a general GP to a geriatrician if and when they feel it necessary.
Gynecologist – Most women in their lifetimes will have worked with a gynecologist, as they specialise in and handle preventative care for women in reproductive health, menopause, and hormone related issues.
Hematologist – The knowledge of a hematologist, or blood specialist, can be instrumental in preventing and treating cancers of the blood, such as leukemia. They also treat ongoing conditions such as iron deficiencies, anemia or hemophilia (the inability to clot).
Infectious Disease Specialists – Also known as virologists or epidemiologists, they’re in the spotlight thanks to Covid-19. On a day to day basis though, they treat ailments that are caused by viruses, including conditions like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Internist – Not to be confused with a first year intern student, internists routinely see patients with conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and chronic lung disease – or the “internal” conditions that are mostly chronic.
Mental Health Practitioners – Psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists may differ from the traditional image of a doctor, but they are just as important when it comes to treating the mind. Although each role differs slightly, all help to treat both circumstantial and chronic conditions.
Nephrologist – Specialising in just one organ, a nephrologist oversees anything and everything kidney related. They are often called in for long term treatment for serious and ongoing chronic kidney diseases, and oversee dialysis for those experiencing kidney failure.
Neurologist – Not only are they regarded as the brain gurus, neurologists also manage symptoms related to the nervous system and spine. They commonly treat patients who have survived a stroke, or suffer Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS).
Obstetrician – An obstetrician specifically looks after pregnant women and delivers their babies. It’s not uncommon to see combined “ob gyn” offices that combine gynecologist services, along with cervical cancer and breast cancer screening points to cover all things women’s health.
Oncologist – A referral to see an oncologist is not something that most people actively seek, as this doctor specialises in all things cancer related. Oncologists are the go to for anyone who is living with cancer, as they’ll draft treatment options plus additional care during remission.
Ophthalmologist – Often confused with an optometrist, this type of doctor looks after both the medical and surgical aspects of eyes. Ophthalmologists will also be needed if you develop a serious eye impairment, like glaucoma and cataracts.
Osteopath – The work of an osteopath places a greater emphasis on treating a person with holistic health treatments, using elements of alternative medicine. Particularly, they often focus on relieving physical pain and tension in your body, especially in muscles and in joints.
Otolaryngologist – Often referred to as “ENTs”, otolaryngologists specialist in all things ear, nose and throat related. A visit to an ENT is usually related to sinus issues, allergies and their side effects, or swallowing and hearing related conditions.
Pediatrician – Pediatricians handle scheduled care and check-ins for infants, toddlers, younger children, adolescents, preteens, and most teenagers. They function like a primary care provider, but are purposely trained to oversee the healthcare and development of children.
Plastic Surgeons – A visit to the plastic surgeon’s office is not always for a cosmetic procedure. They are actually instrumental in the physical reconstruction of the body after facing trauma like burns, and can help to repair or transfer skin after facing a serious injury.
Podiatrist – If you have foot, ankle, or lower leg pain that can’t be solved by your local general practitioner, expect a trip to the podiatrist. While they treat physically injured muscles, joints, or bones in their feet, podiatrists can also manage side effects from conditions like diabetes.
Pulmonologist – Patients will often be referred to them for asthma related issues, but pulmonologists also diagnose and treat conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and lung cancer.
Radiologist – Radiologists are doctors who specialise in diagnosing diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques, such as x-rays, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Ultrasound.
Urologist – As another highly specialised medical practitioner, a urologist oversees all things related to the urinary tract system (including bladders and urethra). They may troubleshoot issues like incontinence, help you pass a kidney stone, and reproductive concerns for men.
Sourcing A Rewarding Career In Medicine
After finally receiving their qualification, young doctors are left with another big choice – what to specialise in? If you’re looking for flexibility, diversity and a true sense of community, then it might be time to consider a career as a general practitioner. With advancements in technology come greater flexibility, such as working in telehealth and locum based roles.
House Call Doctor are a team of medical practitioners providing access to medical care to people when their regular GP is closed and they need to see a doctor.
Just like our patients, our team of doctors come from all walks of life. Whether you’re looking to travel, increase your earning potential, gain experience, or even just a desire for greater job satisfaction, medical jobs with House Call Doctor could be the answer that you’ve been looking for – so why not register your interest with us today? It could very well be the first step in building the work life balance that you’ve always envisioned for yourself.