FREIDA's Specialty Guide is designed to simplify medical students’ specialty selection process, highlight major specialties, detail training information, and provide access to related association information.

Choosing Your Specialty?
49 Specialties

Allergy and Immunology Specialty Description

An allergist-immunologist diagnoses and manages disorders involving immune system conditions such as asthma, anaphylaxix, rhinitis and eczema as well as adverse reactions and immune deficiency diseases.

Anesthesiology Specialty Description

An anesthesiologist is a physician who provides anesthesia for patients undergoing surgical, obstetric, diagnostic, or therapeutic procedures while monitoring the patient’s condition and supporting vital organ functions. The anesthesiologist also diagnoses and treats acute, chronic, and/or cancer pain as well as provide resuscitation and medical management for patients with critical illnesses and severe injuries.

Cardiovascular Disease Specialty Description

A cardiovascular disease specialist is an internist who specializes in diseases of the heart and blood vessels and manages complex cardiac conditions such as heart attacks and life-threatening, abnormal heart rhythms.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialty Description

The child and adolescent psychiatrist has additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental, behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders of childhood and adolescence.

Colon and Rectal Surgery Specialty Description

A colon and rectal surgeon has been trained to deal with conditions such as colon and rectal cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, pelvic floor abnormalities, and anal conditions.

Critical Care Medicine Specialty Description

An internist trained in critical care medicine has expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and support of critically ill and injured patients, particularly trauma victims and patients with multiple organ dysfunction.

Cytopathology Specialty Description

A cytopathologist is an anatomic pathologist trained in the diagnosis of human disease by means of the study of cells obtained from body secretions and fluids; by scraping, washing, or sponging the surface of a lesion; or by the aspiration of a tumor mass or body organ with a fine needle. 

Dermatology Specialty Description

A dermatologist is a physician with training and expertise in the diagnosis and medical/surgical management of diseases of the skin, hair and nails, and mucous membranes.

Emergency Medicine Specialty Description

A physician who specializes in emergency medicine focuses on the immediate decision making and action necessary to prevent death or any further disability both in the pre-hospital setting and in the emergency department.

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Specialty Description

An internist who concentrates on disorders of the internal (endocrine) glands, such as the thyroid and adrenal glands, this specialist also deals with disorders such as diabetes, metabolic and nutritional disorders, obesity, pituitary diseases, and menstrual and sexual problems.

Family Medicine Specialty Description

Family physicians deliver a range of acute, chronic, and preventive medical care services. Family physicians also manage chronic illness, often coordinating care provided by other subspecialists.

Gastroenterology Specialty Description

Gastroenterologists are internists who specialize in diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive organs, including the esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver and gallbladder.

General Preventive Medicine and Public Health Specialty Description

Preventive medicine physicians are uniquely trained in public health and clinical medicine so they can understand and reduce the risks of disease, disability and death.

Geriatric Medicine Specialty Description

Geriatricians are internists who have special knowledge of the aging process and special skills in the diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and rehabilitative aspects of illness in the elderly. 

Hematology Specialty Description

A hematologist is an internist with additional training who specializes in blood diseases. This specialist treats diseases such as anemia, hemophilia and sickle cell disease as well as cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialty Description

Hospice and palliative medicine physicians have special knowledge and skills to prevent and relieve the suffering experienced by patients with life- limiting illnesses.

Infectious Diseases Specialty Description

An infectious disease specialist is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses (such as HIV and hepatitis), fungi and parasites. 

Internal Medicine Specialty Description

An internist is a personal physician who provides long-term, comprehensive care in the office and in the hospital, managing both common and complex illnesses of adolescents, adults, and the elderly.

Interventional Cardiology Specialty Description

Interventional cardiology is an area of medicine within the subspecialty of cardiology that uses specialized imaging and other diagnostic techniques to evaluate blood flow and pressure in the coronary arteries and chambers of the heart, as well as technical procedures and medications to treat abnormalities that impair the function of the cardiovascular system.

Medical Genetics and Genomics Specialty Description

Medical geneticists specialize in medicine that involves the interaction between genes and health. They are trained to evaluate, diagnose, manage, treat, and counsel individuals of all ages with hereditary disorders.

Medical Oncology Specialty Description

A medical oncologist is an internist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer and other benign and malignant tumors.

Nephrology Specialty Description

A nephrologist is an internist who treats chronic and acute disorders of the kidney, high blood pressure, fluid, electrolyte and mineral balance, and manages complications of kidney failure. 

Neurological Surgery Specialty Description

Neurological surgery constitutes a medical discipline and surgical specialty that provides care for adult and pediatric patients in the treatment of pain or pathological processes that may modify the function or activity of the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, the supporting structures of these systems, and their vascular supply.

Neurology Specialty Description

A neurologist specializes in the evaluation and treatment of all types of disease or impaired function of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles, and autonomic nervous system, as well as the blood vessels that relate to these structures. 

Nuclear Medicine Specialty Description

A specialist in nuclear medicine uses molecular tracers (usually labeled with radioactive atoms) for diagnosis and therapy. These labeled tracers are most often used to produce images that provide information about organ function, as well as cellular function on a molecular level (molecular imaging).

Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialty Description

An obstetrician/gynecologist focuses on the health of women before, during, and after childbearing years, diagnosing and treating conditions of the reproductive system and associated disorders.

Occupational Medicine Specialty Description

Occupational and environmental medicine is perhaps the most wide-ranging of all medical specialties, devoted to the prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness and disability, and promotion of health and productivity of workers, their families and communities.

Ophthalmology Specialty Description

Ophthalmology is a specialty focused on the medical and surgical care of the eyes. Ophthalmologists are the only physicians medically trained to manage the complete range of eye and vision care.

Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Specialty Description

An orthopaedic surgeon educated in Sports Medicine has expertise in the surgical and medical care for all structures of the musculoskeletal system directly affected by participation in a sporting activity. 

Orthopaedic Surgery Specialty Description

An orthopaedic surgeon is educated in the preservation, investigation, and restoration of the form and function of the extremities, spine, and associated structures by medical, surgical, and physical means.

Otolaryngology Specialty Description

An otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon provides medical and/ or surgical therapy for the prevention of diseases, allergies, neoplasms, deformities, disorders, and/or injuries of the ears, nose, sinuses, throat, respiratory, and upper alimentary systems, face, jaws, and the other head and neck systems.

Pain Medicine Specialty Description

A physician who specializes in pain medicine diagnoses and treats patients experiencing problems with acute, chronic and/or cancer pain in both hospital and outpatient settings, and coordinates patient care needs with other specialists.

Pathology Specialty Description

A pathologist deals with the causes and nature of disease and contributes to diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment through knowledge gained by the laboratory application of the biologic, chemical, and physical sciences.

Pediatric Surgery Specialty Description

Pediatric surgeons are primarily concerned with the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative management of surgical problems in children, and they operate on children whose development ranges from the newborn stage through the teenage years.

Pediatrics Specialty Description

Pediatricians practice the specialty of medical science concerned with the physical, emotional, and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Pediatric care encompasses a broad spectrum of health services ranging from preventive care to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialty Description

A specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation evaluates and treats patients with physical and/or cognitive impairments and disabilities that result from musculoskeletal conditions (such as neck or back pain, or sports or work injuries), neurological conditions (such as stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury), or other medical conditions.

Plastic Surgery Specialty Description

A plastic surgeon deals with the repair, reconstruction, or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniomaxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk, and external genitalia or cosmetic enhancement of these areas of the body.

Preventive Medicine Specialty Description

A specialist in preventive medicine focuses on the health of individuals and defined populations in order to protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being, and to prevent disease, disability, and premature death.

Psychiatry Specialty Description

A psychiatrist specializes in the evaluation and treatment of mental, addictive, and emotional disorders such as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substancerelated disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, and adjustment disorders.

Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine Specialty Description

Pulmonary/critical care medicine encompasses a wide variety of patient care opportunities and offers a large spectrum of practice opportunities. The majority of pulmonary/critical care specialists enjoy a practice that provides care for both inpatients and outpatients.

Radiation Oncology Specialty Description

A radiologist is a physician who uses imaging methodologies to diagnose and manage patients and provide therapeutic options. Physicians practicing in the field of Radiology specialize in Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology, or Radiation Oncology. 

Radiology — Diagnostic Specialty Description

A radiologist is a physician who uses imaging methodologies to diagnose and manage patients and provide therapeutic options. Physicians practicing in the field of Radiology specialize in Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology, or Radiation Oncology.

Radiology — Interventional and Diagnostic Specialty Description

A radiologist is a physician who uses imaging methodologies to diagnose and manage patients and provide therapeutic options. Physicians practicing in the field of Radiology specialize in Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology, or Radiation Oncology.

Rheumatology Specialty Description

A rheumatologist is an internist who treats diseases of joints, muscle, bones and tendons. This specialist diagnoses and treats arthritis, back pain, muscle strains, common athletic injuries and “collagen” diseases.

Sleep Medicine Specialty Description

Sleep medicine specialists treat sleep-/wake-related disorders using devices, surgical interventions, medications and behavioral therapies.

Surgery — General Specialty Description

A general surgeon has principal expertise in the diagnosis and care of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the abdomen, digestive tract, endocrine system, breast, skin, and blood vessels. A general surgeon is also trained in the treatment of patients who are injured or critically ill, and in the care of pediatric and cancer patients.

Thoracic Surgery Specialty Description

Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients who acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest.

Urology Specialty Description

A urologist, also known as a genitourinary surgeon, focuses on diagnosing and treating disorders of the urinary tracts of males and females, and on the reproductive system of males. This specialist manages non-surgical problems such as urinary tract infections and benign prostatic hyperplasia, as well as surgical problems such as the surgical management of cancers, the correction of congenital abnormalities, and correcting stress incontinence.

Vascular Surgery Specialty Description

A vascular surgeon has expertise in the diagnosis and care of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the arteries, veins and lymphatic systems, excluding vessels of the brain and heart.