MVP   Healthgrades Glossary

Please select a letter to view glossary terms that begin with that letter.

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Obstetrics and gynecology deals with disorders of a woman's reproductive system. An obstetrician/gynecologist is sometimes a primary physician for women. The gynecologist treats women and their reproductive systems, but is also concerned with women's menstrual problems, disorders of pelvic organs, infertility, or cancer of the reproductive organs. Some tests a gynecologist will order or administer are blood tests, a vaginal swab, or X-rays or ultrasound of the pelvic region. An obstetrician can be a gynecologist, and the two practices are closely related.

The obstetrician deals with problems of the woman and fetus during pregnancy and childbirth, and can act as a consultant to other physicians regarding the care of a patient. An obstetrician will see a pregnant woman regularly to check on her health and progress of her pregnancy. Risk factors in a pregnancy include the mother's diabetes, a previous pregnancy complication, high blood pressure, or heart disease, and will require an obstetrician to check on a woman's condition more often.

Occupational Medicine:
Occupational medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the health of workers. An occupational medicine physician treats work-related injuries that include lung disease, breathing disorders, allergic reactions to chemicals, or chemical burns. This specialist also works with business owners and workplace safety organizations to protect the health of workers and to prevent work-related injuries, accidents and diseases.

Oncology is the study and treatment of cancer and tumors. An oncologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats cancer patients. The oncologist sometimes uses chemotherapy, and consults with other physicians to coordinate other methods of cancer treatments for a patient. Cancer patients need to take in to account the likelihood of a cure, or of prolonging life when cure is not possible, the effect of treatment on their symptoms, and the side effects of the treatment. People who are candidates for radiation therapy or anti-cancer drugs need to understand the risks involved with treatment. An oncologist can help to counsel a patient on treatment options and what to expect.

Ophthalmology involves the treatment of the eye and vision disorders. An ophthalmologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats eye disorders and diseases, and sometimes performs eye surgery. Ophthalmology is more than just vision care. This specialist is trained to medically or surgically treat all ocular and vision problems, including disorders of the eyelids and visual pathways. The ophthalmologist also provides comprehensive vision exams and prescribes glasses and contact lenses.

Orthopedic Surgery:
Orthopedic surgery deals with problems of the spine and the extremities. An orthopedic surgeon diagnoses and treats patients whose musculoskeletal problems include arthritis, trauma and congenital deformities. He or she also works with patients who have traumatic and overuse injuries. Using both surgical and non-surgical means, the orthopedic surgeon will treat injuries and degenerative problems of the spine and extremities, such as hands, feet, knees, shoulders and elbows.

Otolaryngology is the field of medicine primarily concerned with problems with the ear, nose and throat. An otolaryngologist is a head and neck surgeon who diagnoses and provides comprehensive medical treatment for the ears, nose, sinuses, throat, respiratory system, and other head and neck systems. This specialist also performs plastic and reconstructive surgery on the face, and treats disorders of the larynx (voicebox) and hearing.

Other areas of concern to the otolaryngologist are treatment of diseases, allergies and related disorders of the head. Otolaryngology is commonly called ENT, because it primarily deals with the ear, nose and throat.

Otology-neurotology is the study and medical care of diseases of the ear. An otologist and a neurotologist are physicians who treat chronic ear disease, hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, and facial nerve disorders. They also diagnose and treat other disorders of hearing and balance, and have special knowledge and skills in anatomy and physiology of the ear, epidemiology, pathology, genetics, immunology and microbiology.