COPD Lexicon: Types Of Doctors

Last updated: May 2018

There are so many doctors capable and ready to help you. And there are so many different types of doctors. They specialize in a variety of areas.

Here are some of the most common types of doctors.

Physician Doctor. A person who practices medicine. They have earned a doctorate’s degree in medicine.

Doctor We usually think of doctor’s as physicians. And it’s true that physicians are doctors. But, not all doctors are physicians. By its most basic definition, a doctor is defined as anyone who has a doctorate’s degree.

Doctorate’s degree According to, it’s the highest degree obtainable at a university.

Medical School A school that teaches medicine.

Medical Student They are still in medical school. You may see them shadowing physicians.

D.O. It’s a medical degree.

M.D. It’s a medical degree.

Training hospitalsThey are hospitals that specialize in training future attending physicians. They are usually the larger, big city hospitals.

InternThey have completed medical school. They are in training. They are working on their internship. This is what the first year post-medical school training is referred to. They can not practice medicine on their own. However, once they complete this internship and pass a test, they can practice medicine on their own. But, many prefer to specialize, in which case they will become residents.

Resident It is a person who is an MD or a DO. They want to specialize in some area of medicine. They spend time under the supervision of an attending physician. Depending on the specialty, a residency may last anywhere from 2-7 years. For instance, a future brain surgeon might need seven years of training. They may either work in the clinical or hospital setting.

Clinical setting Doctor’s office or clinic.

Hospital setting In the hospital.

Degree in Medicine A degree necessary to practice medicine. They are earned after completing requirements of medical schools and a residency.

Family They offer basic medical services to individuals and families. They are sometimes called general practitioners (GP).

Internist They solve mysteries. They specialize in internal diseases or diseases inside your body. COPD is a good example of an internal disease. It’s inside you, so you cannot see it with the naked eye. They specialize in how to treat these internal diseases.

Pulmonologist They specialize in lung diseases and how to treat them. Some people with COPD may benefit from the expertise of these doctors.

Allergist (Immunologist) They specialize in allergies. If you have allergies, you may benefit from their expertise.

Ear-Nose-And-Throat (ENT) Their specialty is your ears, nose, and throat. They can help you if you also have rhinitis or sinusitis.

CardiologistThey specialize in the heart. Some people with COPD have issues with their hearts. Sometimes these heart issues may cause flare-ups. So, if you need them, they are ready to help your heart out. Their goal is to keep your heart healthy so you can breathe easy.

Hospitalist These are doctors that work only in hospitals. They take care of you when you’re admitted to the hospital.

Emergency RoomThese are doctors that specialize in emergency medicine. If you’re having a flare up, they are always ready to help you breathe easier.

Surgeon When the need arises, they are there to assist.

What to make of this?

So, these are just some common terms related to doctors. These are the different types of doctors you may see. This along with the other COPD Lexicon articles can help you better understand and communicate about COPD.

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