MVP   Healthgrades Glossary

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

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Radiation Oncology:
Radiation oncology uses radiologic imaging to diagnose all types of cancer and tumors in patients and then uses the imaging to treat the patients with radiation. A radiation oncologist is a radiologist who may use diagnostic tools such as x-rays, ultrasound, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and a CT scan (Computed Tomography) to help diagnose the disease and then develop a treatment plan for the patient. This specialist uses the diagnostic plan to treat patients with external beam radiation or internal radiation which is also known as brachytherapy. The radiation oncologist also consults with other physicians, such as medical oncologists and surgeons, to coordinate other methods of cancer treatments for a patient. The radiation oncologist can also help to counsel a patient on these treatment options and what to expect.

Radioisotopic Pathology:
Radioisotopic pathology is the study of the causes of diseases in the laboratory using biologic, chemical, and physical sciences. A radioisotopic pathologist is a physician who performs laboratory studies to diagnose and treat patients with radioactive isotopes, or radionuclides. These radioactive chemical items can help to uncover important medical information in a patient's anatomy and organs, and help to treat tumors. Sometimes these radioactive bits are used in combination with scanning machines, and can help a physician diagnose diseases.

Radiology is the use of medical imaging technology to learn about diseases in the human body. A radiologist is a physician who works with X-rays, ultrasound, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT scans (Computed Tomography), and other imaging technology to diagnose and sometimes treat diseases or disorders, such as breast cancer, tumors, lung cancer or heart disease.

Radiology Physics:
Radiology physics is the field of medical physics that involves imaging technology to diagnose and treat cancer. A radiology physicist is a trained specialist, typically with a Masters or Ph.D., who uses ultrasound, X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT scans (Computed Tomography) and other technology to create a treatment plan to treat patients' diseases or disorders, such as breast cancer, tumors, lung cancer or heart disease with radiation.

Recognized Doctor:
To help consumers evaluate and compare physicians, HealthGrades analyzed objective physician data to identify leading physicians across the country. HealthGrades Recognized Doctors:
  • Are board certified in the specialty they practice;
  • Have never had their license restricted or revoked;
  • Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions for the last five years; and
  • Are free of any malpractice claims for the last five years.
Quarterly updates are made to the Recognized Doctor list based on new sanction, board certification, and malpractice data. For example, a newly sanctioned physician will be removed from the Recognized Doctor list immediately.
What this means to you:
Receiving quality healthcare can help you more effectively manage a condition and recover more quickly when you are ill. The most important steps you can take to ensure that you are getting the best possible care are to use quality information, take an active role in making decisions about your care, and look for physicians who meet quality standards of excellence.

Residency Training:
Residency training is physician training that takes place after graduation from medical school. It focuses on a specific medical or surgical specialty (general surgery, for example), and takes place in accredited hospitals or other healthcare facilities under experienced physician supervision. Residency training is required for specialty board certification. The length of training varies from specialty to specialty.
What this means to you:
Residency demonstrates that the physician completed the training and received the knowledge necessary to practice his/her specialty.

Rheumatology is the study of rheumatic illnesses, especially arthritis. A rheumatologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats arthritis and other conditions associated with joints, muscle, bones and tendons. This physician specializes in non-surgical treatment of diseases, and works with patients who have unexplained conditions such as weakness, fever, fatigue and weight loss. The rheumatologist also treats patients with lupus, scleroderma, gout, vasculitis, fibromyalgia and other disorders.