What is a Specialty Care Doctor?

A specialty care doctor, also called a specialist, chose to receive additional training in a medical specialty.

Some examples of specialty care physicians include:

  • Cardiologists – Heart care
  • Oncologists – Cancer care
  • Neurologists – Conditions involving the brain
  • Gastroenterologists – Conditions involving the digestive system
  • Pediatrician – Child care

After (typically) four years of medical school, a physician goes on to an internship and residency for advanced training, which can take anywhere from one to five years depending on the kind of residency training. Following a residency, a doctor can then goes through several more years of training in a specific specialty.

After they complete their training, physicians take examinations to become "board-certified" in their specialty. Many of these subspecialties require formal certifications. Those with certificates in subspecialties (such as cardiology) were first certified in a specialty (such as internal medicine).

To verify a doctor has board certification, you can contact The American Board of Medical Specialties (1007 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201; 847-491-9091 or 800-776-2378).