Aviva Directory » Health & Well-Being » Health Specialties & Professions

Health, wellness, and medical professions and specialties are the focus of this portion of our web guide.

The medical professions are expansive, including a wide range of health professionals who provide health care treatment and advice in accordance with their formal training and experience.

A medical specialty is a branch of medical practice that focuses on either defined group of patients, diseases, skills, or medical philosophy. For example, pediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals solely with children, while oncology is focused on cancer. Physicians who train and specialize in surgery are known as surgeons; others might focus on holistic medicine.

Also known as medical doctors, physicians are medical practitioners who practice medicine, which involves promoting, maintaining, and restoring health through research, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of injuries, diseases, or disorders. Requirements and definitions vary from country to country or even from state to state, but most jurisdictions specify a minimum level of education and training, as well as, in most cases, passing a standard examination in order to be licensed to practice medicine.

After completing medical school, physicians, surgeons, and other clinicians often further their medical education in a specific specialty of medicine by completing a multiple-year residency to become a specialist.

Physicians might specialize in allergies and immunology, anesthesiology, dermatology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, medical genetics, neurology, nuclear medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, pathology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, podiatry, preventative medicine, psychiatry, radiation oncology, surgery, urology, or other specialties.

Some physicians decide to be general practitioners (GP), also known as family physicians or primary care physicians. These doctors treat acute and chronic illnesses and provide preventative care and health education to patients of all ages. The duties of a GP aren't confined to one specific field of medicine. They treat people with multiple health issues to a level of complexity that may vary from country to country.

Dentists, or dental surgeons, are healthcare professionals who specialize in dentistry, which involves the teeth, gums, and mouth. Besides the dentists themselves, dental teams might include dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, and dental therapists.

However, health, wellness, and medical professions comprise more than physicians and physician specialists. The field also includes audiologists, healthcare scientists, medical assistants, midwives, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physical therapists, physician assistants, psychologists, radiologists, registered dieticians, veterinarians, and veterinary technicians. In some jurisdictions, some of these may be physician specialties.

Allied health professions are those that provide a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and support services for a variety of other professions not considered allied health professions, such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, psychology, chiropractic, and veterinary.

Also included here might be a variety of allied health professions, such as various types of technicians and assistants, trainers, nutritionists, therapists, and various public health personnel. Depending on the jurisdiction, these professions may or may not be regulated or credentialed.

Some allied health professions are specialized and may adhere to national training and education standards and scopes of practice. Many jurisdictions require credentials, such as degrees, diplomas, certification, licensure, and continuing education. Others may have no specific requirement for training or credentialing, with employers providing on-the-job training or having proprietary requirements.

Paramedicine is a physician-directed practice that usually serves as the intersection of health care, public health, and public safety. Generally known as Emergency Medical Services, we include this as a separate category beneath Emergency Services.

The above represent a portion of what might be appropriately represented within the Health Specialties & Professions category or its subcategories. It is not intended to be a comprehensive listing, and some countries may use different terms or have varying descriptions and requirements.


Allergists & Immunologists






Laboratory Technologists

Medical Transcription

Nuclear Medicine



Obstetrics & Gynecology




Organ Donation


Pain Medicine & Palliative Care


Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Physical Therapists



Psychological Counseling & Therapy





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