A medical specialist is someone who specializes in a particular field of medicine. While that definition may be superficial, what it denotes is not. Medical specialists go through additional training, above and beyond medical school and internship in order to become very knowledgeable about a specific part of the human body. You can expect a specialist to have taken at least two to three years of extra training, above and beyond that of a general internist, in their specific field, and that they will continually research progress in their field. In the medical profession they often function as consultants, either for private practice or employed by a hospital. General practitioners will see the patients first, and if they are presented with a patient that they cannot cure, or if they cannot discern what is causing the illness the specialist is called in to examine the patient. The philosophy behind this approach is that the average patient will not need a specialist, so specialists do not usually see them first, but wait until specifically asked. This system has the benefit of not requiring general internists to have incredibly specific knowledge of all medical matters, an impossible feat, but allows them to delegate responsibility to those with more specific knowledge when the situation calls for it. Medicine is the branch of health science and the sector of public life concerned with maintaining human health or restoring it through the treatment of disease and injury. ... A consultant (from the latin consultus meaning legal expert) is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular domain or area of expertise such as accountancy, technology, the law, human resources, marketing, medicine, finance, public affairs, communication, or more esoteric areas of knowledge, for example engineering of different kinds... A general practitioner (GP) or family physician (FP) is a physician/medical doctor who provides primary care. ...
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This includes medically evaluating the patient before surgery (preoperative), consulting with the surgical team, providing pain control and support of life functions during surgery (intraoperative), supervising care after surgery (postoperative) and medically discharging the patient from the recovery unit.
Because of their specialty training, anesthesiologists are uniquely qualified to prescribe and administer drug therapies for acute, chronic, cancer and childbirth pain.
As medical technologies have advanced, so has the need for anesthesiologists to become involved in caring for patients during radiological imaging or scanning procedures, endoscopies, in vitro fertilization, lithotripsy procedures, electroshock treatment, nutritional support and respiratory therapy.
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