Definitions of Doctor Specialties
The following physician specialties are listed in alphabetical order and reflect the same specialty options listed on the drop-down menu of our Find A Doctor search tool. Visit our search tool to select an Alta Bates Summit doctor if you don't see the specialty you're looking for in this list.
A - E
Addiction Medicine: The branch of medicine that concentrates on helping people overcome repetitive behaviors that can range from drug and alcohol dependency to tobacco use and eating disorders.
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Allergy & Immunology: The study and treatment of the body's reaction to foreign and non-foreign substances. Ailments treated by an immunologist include hay fever, asthma, hives and other abnormal responses to allergens that range from dust and food to animals and chemicals.
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Anesthesiology: An anesthesiologist is a physician who specializes in the administration of anesthesia for pain relief, and the care of patients before, during, and after surgery. The anesthesiologist monitors vital organ functions including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood-oxygen saturation during surgery. Anesthesiologists may also provide diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain.
Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgery: Surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help a person with extreme obesity lose weight.
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Cancer Surgery: Surgeons in this specialty remove or treat primary or secondary cancer tumor sites. These sites are not limited to one part of the body and may be located anywhere in the body.
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Cardiothoracic Surgery: Surgeons in this specialty perform cardiovascular procedures, including coronary artery bypass, heart valve repair or replacement, and correction of other defects of the heart. These physicians also perform surgery on the major arteries, the lungs, and the esophagus.
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Cardiovascular Disease: A cardiologist is a physician certified to treat problems of the cardiovascular system such as the heart, arteries, and veins of the body, to prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease.
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Cardiovascular Surgery: Highly trained and certified cardiac surgeons correct and repair multiple heart conditions, including coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease. Many cardiac surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgeries that are performed through a small incision and require less recovery time and improve patient safety and comfort.
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Clinical Psychology: Psychologists deal with mental processes - both normal and abnormal - and their effects upon human behavior. Psychologists typically have a doctorate degree, but are not medical doctors and do not prescribe medications.
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Colorectal Surgery: Surgeons in this specialty perform procedures on the colon and/or rectum to treat a broad spectrum of health issues such as fecal incontinence, colitis and rectal inflammation, rectal bleeding and prolapse, benign anorectal disorders, and colorectal cancer.
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Critical Care Medicine: Critical Care is a branch of medicine concerned with the provision of life support or organ support systems in patients who are critically ill who usually also require intensive monitoring.
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Dentistry/Oral Surgery: Oral Surgery: An oral surgeon removes wisdom teeth, repairs broken jaws, and treats a range of other conditions. Specialists in this field are also called dental surgeons.
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Dermatology: The study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the skin, from warts to acne to skin cancers.
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Dermatopathology: The study of the skin in diagnosing skin diseases.
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Electrophysiology: An electrophysiologist is a cardiologist who has received additional specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders. These specialists treat and correct the electrical activity of the heart.
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Emergency Medicine: The evaluation and treatment of unexpected injury and illness.
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Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism: The treatment of the glands, hormones and related disorders, including diabetes and disorders of the pancreas, pituitary gland, ovaries, testes, thyroid and adrenal glands.
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F - L
Family Medicine: Comprehensive medical care with an emphasis on caring for all members of the family. Family medicine builds upon a core of knowledge derived from other disciplines, primarily pediatrics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, geriatrics, surgery and psychiatry. This specialty was formerly known as Family Practice until the certifying board changed the name in 2006.
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Gastroenterology: The study and treatment of conditions of the digestive system. A gastroenterologist diagnoses and treats disorders of the stomach, intestines, bowels and other structures, such as the liver, gall bladder, pancreas and esophagus, and focus on maladies that include ulcers, jaundice, colitis, hepatitis and cancer.
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Geriatric Medicine: The study of aging and the treatment of problems in the elderly frequently addressing the psychological and social aspects of aging, in addition to the physical aspects.
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Geriatric Psychiatry: Care and treatment of the psychological and social aspects in elderly populations.
Gynecologic Oncology: Care for patients with cancer of the female reproductive system and/or genitals.
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Gynecology: A gynecologist diagnoses and treats conditions of the female reproductive system.
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Hand Surgery: Surgeons in this specialty are trained to diagnose and repair damaged and injured hands. The conditions they treat range from carpal tunnel syndrome to sport-related injuries and the reattachment of severed fingers.
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Hematology: The treatment of blood and blood system diseases such as cancer, lymphoma, serious anemia, and sickle cell disease.
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HIV Disease Specialist: A physician who specializes in the treatment of HIV and HIV associated diseases and disorders.
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Hospitalist: A hospitalist provides quality medical treatment to individuals while they are in the hospital. Hospitalists are based in the hospital and specialize in all aspects of a patient's care - from admission until discharge. To do this, hospitalists manage and coordinate the entire inpatient episode of care, working closely with the patient's primary care physician and/or specialists involved.
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Infectious Disease: The treatment of the disease process dealing with the suppression of the immune system.
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Internal Medicine: A broad-based medical field in which physicians rely on their knowledge of major organs to diagnose and treat patients. Internists treat a variety of afflictions, from colds and heart problems to infectious diseases. Internists often serve as a patient's primary doctor, coordinating all that person's health care.
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Interventional Cardiology: Interventional cardiology procedures are part of a non-surgical, invasive field for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Procedures include stents and angioplasty.
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M - N
Maternal and Fetal Medicine: Maternal-fetal medicine specialists have the specific training and experience needed to perform complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures during pregnancy that can involve the fetus and/or mother e.g., targeted ultrasound and fetal intravascular transfusions.
Medical Oncology: Medical oncologists are specialists in using various medications to treat and manage patients with cancer. This includes the use of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells, painkillers to manage cancer pain, and drugs that will eliminate or reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.
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Microsurgery: Reconstructive surgery performed under magnification using delicate instruments and precise techniques.
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Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine: A field of medicine devoted to the care and treatment of infants up to six weeks old. Neonatologists concentrate on the full spectrum of medical problems that can affect newborn babies. Perinatology is a branch of medicine dealing with medical and biological issues that affect the birth of a child. Perinatology combines obstetrics, gynecology and neonatology, and includes treatment of a fetus or a newborn and the mother.
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Nephrology: The study and care of the kidneys and urinary system such as kidney disorders, diabetes, and renal failure. Treatments can range from dialysis to kidney transplants.
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Neurology: The study and treatment of diseases of the nervous system. A neurologist assists patients who have stroke complications, head injuries, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and other afflictions of the brain and spinal cord.
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Neuroradiology: The branch of medicine that uses radiant energy (x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, etc.) to diagnose disorders or diseases of the central nervous system.
Neurosurgery: A neurosurgeon provides neurological services including surgical treatment of cervical and lumbar spine problems, brain tumors, neurovascular problems, and peripheral nerve problems.
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Nuclear Medicine: This is a specialty of radiology in which physicians diagnose and/or treat diseases with the use of safe radioactive material. These tests are especially valuable because they show how an organ or system works or functions.
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O - P
Obstetrics and Gynecology: OB/GYN is the field of medicine devoted to conditions specific to women. Obstetrics is the care of a woman during pregnancy and during and after childbirth. Gynecology is the study and care of the female reproductive system. An OB/GYN specialist combines these two disciplines to provide comprehensive care for women.
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Ophthalmology: The medical specialty devoted to care of the eye and the treatment of diseases that affect eyes and vision. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats abnormalities of the eye and performs surgery on the eye. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors and are different from optometrists (who test vision and prescribe corrective lenses) and opticians (who make or sell corrective eyewear).
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Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: The branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and deformities of the teeth, mouth and jaw. Specialists in this field are also called dental surgeons. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: A physician treating with disease and injury to the jaw and facial bones.
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Orthopaedics: The treatment of deformities, diseases and injuries of the bones, joints and muscles; sports medicine is a subspecialty.
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Orthopedic Surgery: Orthopedic surgery is the branch of surgery concerned with acute, chronic, traumatic, and overuse injuries and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons address most musculoskeletal ailments including arthritis, trauma and congenital deformities using both surgical and non-surgical means.
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Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat): A division of medical science that focuses on the ears, nose and throat (ENT). Otolaryngologists diagnose and treat disorders from the shoulders up, with the exception of the eyes and brain. Conditions they may deal with include hearing loss, tonsillitis and nasal obstructions.
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Pain Management: Physicians and other pain experts choose from an extensive series of diagnostic tests to precisely identify the source of a patient's pain. Treatment and management possibilities are wide ranging and include physical therapy, behavioral therapy, biofeedback and pain-relieving devices that are implanted under the skin.
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Pathology: A pathologist examines body tissues to diagnose of diseases, and to determine the cause of various conditions, including death. There are several subspecialties in pathology, including chemical pathology, forensic pathology, hematology pathology and neuropathology.
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Pediatric Anesthesiology: A pediatric anesthesiologist is a fully trained anesthesiologist who has completed at least one year of specialized training in anesthesia care of infants and children. Through special training and experience, pediatric anesthesiologists provide the safest care for infants and children undergoing anesthesia.
Pediatric Cardiology: The prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in children.
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology: The treatment of blood and blood system diseases in children such as cancer, lymphoma, serious anemia, and sickle cell disease.
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Pediatric Opthalmology: The medical specialty devoted to care of the eye and the treatment of diseases that affect eyes and vision in children. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats abnormalities of the eye and performs surgery on the eye.
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Pediatric Surgery: A wide range of surgical procedures including the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques specific to children.
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Pediatrics: The field of medicine dedicated to the care of infants, children and teenagers, and they concentrate on preventing illness and treating children for a variety of conditions.
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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Physicians who specialize in physical rehabilitation help patients who've had a stroke or serious injury return to home, work, or school.
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Plastic Surgery: The repair, restoration, or reconstruction of different parts of the body. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons not only perform elective cosmetic surgery to improve appearance, they also repair and reconstruct the facial features and bodies of patients with conditions caused by burns, injuries, diseases and congenital deformities.
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Podiatry: The study, prevention, and treatment of problems of the foot. A podiatrist may prescribe corrective devices and medication, or recommend physical therapy. Podiatrists attend colleges of podiatric medicine and graduates are doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM). Podiatrists with advanced training also do various types of foot surgery.
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Psychiatry: The diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists are physicians who prescribe appropriate medication and do therapy to treat of a variety of conditions, from depression to schizophrenia.
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Pulmonary Disease: The field of medicine devoted to the study and treatment of diseases of the respiratory system such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, cancer and other disorders of the lungs and respiratory system.
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R - Z
Radiation Oncology: Radiation oncology is the field of medicine that uses therapeutic applications of radiation to manage cancer and other diseases. Radiation oncologists determine the type of radiation that will be used, as well as the amount or dose, and the number and length of treatments.
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Radiology: The use of radioactive equipment, including X-ray machines, to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. Specialists in this field are called radiologists.
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Reconstructive Surgery: Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma or injury, infection, tumors, or disease. It is generally performed to improve function, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance.
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Reproductive Endocrinology: A specialist in OBGYN who manages complex problems related to endocrinology and infertility.
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Rheumatology: The study and care of the joints and the muscular and skeletal systems. Rheumatologists treat a range of conditions, from athletic injuries to arthritis, lupus and rheumatic fever.
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Sleep Medicine: The field of medicine devoted to the study and treatment of disruptions in sleeping patterns. Specialists in this field work with patients to overcome such conditions as insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea.
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Spine Surgery: Spine surgeons are physicians who receive special training in the diagnosis and treatment of the spine which include problems with the neck (cervical spine), mid back (thoracic spine) and low back (lumbar spine).
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Sports Medicine: The field of medicine devoted to athletic injuries. Doctors specializing in sports medicine help patients prevent and recover from a range of injuries - from sprained knees and back strains to broken bones and torn ligaments - suffered while engaging in sports activities. Many sports medicine doctors also help design athletic training equipment and training methods.
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Surgery: A wide range of surgical procedures including the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques. Surgical intervention or treatment of injuries and disease responsive to operative or manual treatment.
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Surgical Critical Care: A comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation and management of surgical patients with critical illness.
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Thoracic Surgery: The study and practice of surgery on the chest cavity and rib cage, including the heart, lungs and esophagus. Thoracic surgeons treat patients with lung cancer, coronary diseases, aneurysms and heart diseases.
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Vascular Surgery: Surgical solutions to diseases of the body's blood vessels, including the heart and lymph systems. Vascular surgeons treat patients for lymphatic diseases, strokes, aneurysms, varicose veins and other conditions.
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Urology: The study and treatment of the male and female urinary tracts and the male genital tract. Urologists diagnose and treat disorders of the urinary tract, prostate and bladder.
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