Medical Specialist Titles Explained

What are medical specialists?

Medical specialists are doctors who have completed advanced education and clinical training in a specific area of medicine (their specialty area).

The table below provides a list (and description) of titles you may encounter when researching medical specialists. 

Specialist titleDescription of role
AllergistAn allergist diagnoses and treats allergic reactions.
AudiologistAn audiologist assesses and treats people with hearing disorders. An audiologist is not a medical practitioner.
Cardiologist A cardiologist specialises in problems associated with the heart.
Chiropractor A chiropractor treats disorders caused by misalignment of the spinal vertebrae using manipulative treatment. A chiropractor is not a medical practitioner. 
DentistA dentist specialises in treating teeth. 
DermatologistA dermatologist diagnoses and treats skin disorders.
EndocrinologistAn endocrinologist specialises in problems with the internal secretion glands.
GastroenterologistA gastroenterologist specialises in problems relating to the stomach and intestines.
GerontologistA gerontologist specialises in problems associated with ageing. 
GynaecologistA gynaecologist specialises in problems associated with the female reproductive system. 
HaematologistA haematologist specialises in problems related to the blood.
ImmunologistAn immunologist specialises in problems related to the immune system, the body's defense mechanism. 
Infertility specialist An inferfility specialist specialises in problems relating to conceiving and maintaining pregnancy.
InternistAn internist specialises in problems relating to the internal organs.
NeonatologistA neonatologist specialises in diseases and disorders of new born babies.
NephrologistA nephrologist specialises in problems relating to the kidneys.
NeurologistA neurologist specialises in problems relating to the central nervous system.
Nuclear physicianA nuclear physician specialises in the practice of diagnostic radiology and administering diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures. 
ObstetricianAn obstetrician provides medical care to women during pregnancy, childbirth and immediately thereafter.
OncologistAn oncologist is a cancer specialist.
OphthalmologistAn ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats diseases and disorders of the eye.
Optician An optician fills prescriptions for corrective lenses (eg for eye glasses). An optician is not a medical practitioner. 
OptometristAn optometrist examines and tests eyes and treats visual defects by prescribing corrective lenses or eyeglasses. Optometrists are not permitted to prescribe drugs. An optometrist is not a medical practitioner. 
OrthopaedistAn orthopaedist specialises in problems involving the bones, joints and muscles. Orthopaedists are also called an orthopedic surgeon.  
OtorhinolaryngologistAn otorhinolaryngologist treats problems of the ears, nose and throat. Otorhinolaryngologista are also known an ENT specialists. 
PaediatricianA paediatrician specialises in children's diseases.
PathologistA pathologist performs laboratory analysis of tissue samples to assist with diagnosis of a disease. They also perform autopsies to establish the cause of death. 
Pharmacist A pharmacist is a specialist who is licensed in formulating and dispensing drugs (medication). A pharmacist is not a medical practitioner.
Physiotherapist A physiotherapist uses techniques such as massage, manipulation, exercise and heat application for treatment and rehabilitation. A physiotherapist is not a medical practitioner. 
Plastic surgeon A plastic surgeon restores and reconstructs parts of the body by surgery.
PodiatristA podiatrist specialises in problems relating to the foot. A podiatrist is not a medical practitioner. 
PsychiatristA psychiatrist specialises in diagnosing and treating problems relating to the mind, including mental illness.
PsychologistA psychologist treats people with emotional problems. A psychologist is not a medical practitioner. 
Radiographer A radiographer aids physicians in administering diagnostic x-ray procedures. A radiographer is not a medical practitioner. 
RadiologistA radiologist aids physicians who specialises in the use of radiation to diagnose and treat disease.
Surgeon A surgeon performs operations to treat disease, injury and deformities.
UrologistA urologist treats problems related to the urinary tract. 

Source: Medical Technology Association of Australia


HIF Health Insurance

Nobody likes to think about themselves, or their loved ones, falling ill or needing healthcare treatment. But it happens. And when it does, it’s good to know you have options. With HIF Health Insurance, we prefer to let our policies speak for themselves. Simply click “Get a Quote” at the top of this page and choose the right private health insurance for you.