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The 24 branches of Medicine (and how they try to cure patients)

The 24 branches of Medicine (and how they try to cure patients)

July 25, 2022

Medicine is one of the most important scientific disciplines , given that its evolution and its practical application are fundamental when it comes to maintaining our state of health.

In addition to this, it is also one of the largest number of branches, specializations and subspecialties has, currently with about fifty. And that is why in this article we are going to make a brief mention of some of the most important ones.

  • Related article: "The 12 branches (or fields) of Psychology"

Types and branches of medicine

Medicine counts, as we have indicated a broad science, with around fifty branches and official specialties. However, and although we are really talking about the same science, it is possible to make different classifications and typologies of this type of science .


Next we will make a small separation of medicine in several basic types of specializations.

However, we must bear in mind that there are a large number of professions within the health sector, without being medical. The clearest examples are nurses, assistants, psychologists or pharmacists. That is why we will not see them among the following branches or types of medicine.

1. Clinic

Clinical-centered medicine is what appears in the collective imagination when we talk about this science. It is the type of medicine in which the professional has a direct relationship with the patient , performs diagnosis and proposes and implements a treatment. It includes most of the specializations and is usually the base from which one departs to redirect towards other types of professionals when direct treatment is not possible on their part.


2. Surgical

Surgical medicine is one that is mainly dedicated to the treatment of a previously diagnosed problem, generally applying an invasive methodology in which the professionals work in a direct way altering the organism, either removing or removing any problematic part or placing devices that can improve its functioning.

3. Medical-surgical

We could understand this type of medicine as a mixture of the previous two , in which both surgical and clinical procedures are used. This is the case of some highly recognized specialties, such as ophthalmology.

4. Laboratory

Within this category we can find all those branches that focus not on providing direct treatment to the patient, but rather work from the analysis or from samples of elements such as blood, urine, stools, sexual fluids, secretions or biopsies or of diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance, plates or TACs. Although we do not usually think about them when we talk about doctors, without their service it would not be possible to diagnose or treat a large number of problems.


5. Forensic medicine

Generally, when we talk about medicine, we think about the one that is dedicated to diagnose and treat diseases in living patients, but the truth is that there is also a type of medicine whose objective is to assess the existence of injuries derived from criminal activities or investigate the causes of death of a person .

6. Occupational medicine

Occupational medicine is one that is dedicated to analyze and treat diseases and injuries that may occur within the workplace .

7. Preventive medicine

This type of medicine, although usually used as a part of the clinic's own process, is the one specializes not in the treatment of a current situation but in trying to prevent a disease from arising , get it detected as soon as possible so that it does not generate a serious problem or that in the case of a disease already present, it can not worsen or reappear.

8. Sports medicine

The type of medicine dedicated to the field of sport , usually deals with muscular and bone problems, as well as ligaments and tendons. They can also treat other problems, as well as perform prevention tasks.

9. Integrative medicine

A type of medicine that aims to combine the knowledge of scientific medicine and alternative and natural therapies , seeking in its exercise an integration of both types of knowledge in medical practice.

10. Complementary medicine

Complementary medicine is understood as a type of medicine in which they are used together with the own and customary methodologies of medicine along with other traditional practices that aim to serve as a complement and not as a substitute for the former.

The 24 branches or medical specializations

Within the above types of medicine we can find specializations focused on different aspects such as the area of ​​the organism in which they focus their studies or the age at which they are focused.

While there are many more, here are twenty-four of them to get an idea of ​​its great variability.

1. General and family medicine

General and family medicine is the basic branch of medicine, which is not specialized in a sector of age or in a specific part of the body but has a general knowledge of most areas and often responds to more general health problems. It is usually the doctor we see first. If necessary, you can refer to a specialist.

2. Pediatrics

Pediatrics is one of the most common branches or types of medicine, given that it takes care of the health problems of one of the most vulnerable age groups: childhood. It is a peculiar specialty, since in addition to the fact that children require a more particular type of treatment, the important role of the parents of the patient must be taken into account both in obtaining and informing and in making any decision and possible loss of information derived from the difficulties in expressing the type of discomfort on the part of the minor.

Within it, in addition, there are multiple possible subspecializations.

3. Cardiology

Cardiology is probably one of the best known specialties of medicine, being the subdiscipline responsible for working and studying the cardiovascular system, specifically the heart. From arrhythmias to heart attacks, to congenital problems or heart disease, are some of its fields of application. In some cases it can be linked to another specialty, cardiovascular surgery.

4. Pulmonology

It is the branch of medicine that works with the typical problems of the respiratory system, especially the lungs. Examples of typical problems in which they may be linked are cystic fibrosis or COPD.

5. Gynecology and obstetrics

Gynecology is the medical specialty focused on the problems and health of the female reproductive system, both genital and mammary.

With regard to obstetrics, is dedicated to the study and maintenance of health in the process of pregnancy and childbirth, as well as postpartum. His work is with both the mother and the boy or girl.

6. Otorhinolaryngology

Otorhinolaryngology is dedicated to the study of the auditory system, larynx and pharynx, working problems that can range from infections to hearing loss.

7. Urology

Urology is the branch of medicine that works and studies with the male reproductive and genitourinary system, dealing with problems that may include areas such as the testicles, the penis, the adrenal glands or the peritoneum. Sometimes it is confused with proctology.

8. Endocrinology

The endocrine system is one of the important slabs of our body despite being generally undervalued. It is this system related to hormones that is the object of study of endocrinology, which can treat hormonal problems, growth, thyroid problems or diabetes.

9. Dermatology

The skin and its problems and diseases are the main object of study of dermatology, treating problems related to pustules, cysts, burns, freckles, abscesses, eczema or even melanomas.

10. Traumatology

Traumatology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the effects of bruises and bruises, usually with breaks or dislocations. It is often associated with physiotherapy and rehabilitation, as well as surgery.

11. Oncology

This branch of medicine deals with one of the types of problem that most concern generates the majority of the population: cancer.

12. Geriatrics

A specialty that instead of a disease focuses on the usual problems of a certain age group. In this case his performance focuses on the elderly, working with common health problems or even with dementias.

13. Dentistry

The denture, the gums and the masticatory system in general are the object of study of dentistry.

14. Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists are the specialists in digestive problems, being focused on the problems of the stomach and intestines.

15. Nephrology

This branch of medicine studies and works with all those problems related to the kidneys and their functioning.

16. Infectology

While this specialty is not the best known by the general population, is the one that is responsible for the study of infectious diseases, whether you are viral or bacterial.

17. Toxicology

This branch of medicine is responsible for studying and working with all those cases in which there has been some type of intoxication, whether this food or drug consumption or contact with a toxic.

19. Hematology

A type of medical specialty focused on problems linked to blood.

20. Ophthalmology

The branch of medicine that studies the functioning and disorders and diseases linked to the visual organs: the eyes.

21. Radiology

One of the specialties that are less suited to the normal functioning of what most consider a doctor, radiology involves the study and conduct of diagnostic tests using techniques that use some type of radiation.

22. Proctology

Branch or type of medicine that is responsible for working and analyzing all those problems related to the organs linked to excretion: the colon, anus and rectum.

23. Rheumatology

This branch of medicine is responsible for the study, diagnosis and treatment of problems related to joints and muscles.

24. Immunology

As the name of this specialty tells us, we are before the branch of medicine focused on the study of the immune system and the problems and diseases it may have, treating problems such as HIV infection or lupus.

Other types of medicine

All the aforementioned branches are specialties of medicine which follow the scientific method and have proved effective in the treatment of their problems through various studies.

However, there are other types of medicine that do not usually enjoy scientific evidence and that are usually guided by spirituality or tradition. We talk about traditional medicine and alternative medicine, which are attended by a large number of people and enjoy a certain popularity despite the fact that there are hardly any studies on its effectiveness and the few that exist are usually contradictory or do not show greater efficacy than placebo .

Bibliographic references:

  • Laín Entralgo, P. (1978, reprint 2006). History of medicine Barcelona: Elsevier Masson.
  • López Piñero, J. M. (2000). Brief history of medicine. Madrid, Alliance.

What are the different types of doctors? Specialties in Medicine! (July 2022).


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