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Psychiatrists Career Video

Description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders.

Video Transcript

While many ailments can be cured with rest and fluids or a trip to the primary care doctor, more serious or rare conditions call for the training and experience of physicians and surgeons who specialize in a particular area of practice. All physicians share essential tasks, such as examining patients; taking medical histories; using tests to help make a diagnosis; and prescribing medications. Specialists have additional training to diagnose and treat ailments in a particular organ or area of the body, a type of illness, or to treat patients with a special modality. Allergists and immunologists treat patients who have immune system conditions. Anesthesiologists administer drugs to numb pain during surgery, childbirth, or other procedures. They monitor vital signs to ensure patients’ safety under anesthesia. Cardiologists specialize in diseases or conditions of the heart and blood vessels. Dermatologists help patients with conditions relating to the skin, hair, and nails. Emergency medicine physicians treat patients in urgent medical situations. Neurologists specialize in diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Ophthalmologists specialize in conditions of the eye and may also fit eyeglasses and prescribe contact lenses. Pathologists study the causes of diseases. They test body tissue, fluids, and organs and review test results to diagnose diseases. Psychiatrists help patients with mental illness, using a combination of personal counseling, medication, and hospitalization. Radiologists review x rays, ultrasounds, and other medical images to diagnose injuries or diseases. Doctors of sports medicine help athletes to prevent injuries and they also treat sports-related injuries. Physicians and surgeons often have long, demanding workweeks. The patients cared for by these specialists may be more ill, with more serious conditions, than those treated in primary care. Specializing in an area of practice requires extensive education and training. After a bachelor’s degree, physicians and surgeons earn a medical degree, which typically takes four years to complete. To learn their specialty requires three to nine years of internship and residency programs. Training in a sub-specialization such as infectious diseases requires an additional fellowship of one to three years. All states require licensure for practicing medicine.