Many of us have encountered the term “medical doctor” –sometimes called “iatrics” – while we were younger, in popular media, movies, and television. We may not have understood what a medical doctor did, or why he was qualified to practice medicine. He may have been known as a cardiologist, an orthopedist, a radiologist, a neurosurgeon, or a psychiatrist. And some people may have confused him for a dentist, because both are trained professionals who focus on teeth and gum care, but dentists focus primarily on tooth care. This article attempts to define the role of a medical doctor so that you can know exactly who you’re dealing with when you meet them.
Technically, a medical doctor is any doctor who specializes in treating patients with illnesses, physical problems or injuries. They are registered nurses who have gone to graduate school and obtained their doctorate degree in the field. They have completed all the required training to be board certified in the specialty that they practice. In order to practice medicine in the United States, a doctor must be a graduate of an approved medical school, and have at least three years of experience in that specialty. While many international countries have similar requirements, the United States does not. In other words, if you want to be treated by a doctor in New York City, you need to find one in Boston, not New York City.
When we encounter medical issues, we don’t always know how to best take care of them. For example, we might have an ache in our neck, but not know how to get it diagnosed properly. This is where a medical doctor comes in. The doctor can make sure that the problem is recognized and treated right away, without the patient having to worry about whether or not they can trust their local doctor, because all doctors have been thoroughly trained and certified in their field.
Some people are still surprised to hear that doctors specialize in only one area of medicine. The truth is, when someone refers to a doctor as a medical doctor, they are referring to them being the doctor who specializes in a certain illness or ailment. They have gone through extensive schooling and received a degree in that specific field of study. It is their job to instruct and guide others. A doctor might have gone to medical school and specialized in Pediatric medicine, for example. He or she would be able to treat children who suffer from different diseases, including diabetes.
Another question people often ask our therapists doctors? Sometimes people confuse therapy with medicine. When someone has a problem, the doctor will ask questions to help them figure out what is causing the issue. They will then determine the best way to treat the person, which may include talking to a therapist or going to therapy. However, when medicine is involved, a patient is given medication until the body is better able to function without the medication.
When you look at it in this light, you can see how therapy and medicine are really the same thing. Both are forms of dealing with mental or physical health issues. In some ways, a person who goes to therapy is just like a medical doctor. They are going to examine a patient, make a diagnosis, and decide what they should do next. It is almost like they are giving the patient a prescription, since they are the one making the diagnosis. The person coming into the medical office, on the other hand, is simply a client.
Another thing to ask yourself, are therapists doctors? Of course they are, but not in the traditional sense. When a person comes to see me, I do not diagnose them or prescribe any medicine – at least not yet. I am just looking at their underlying problems to see if it is possible to help them find a solution that will help them get well.
Some people might say that therapists are doctors because they “give advice” and “diagnose” patients, but that’s not really true. A medical doctor is trained to treat illnesses using prescribed medication. A therapist is trained to help the client discover what is causing their problems. In essence, they are helping the person learn more about themselves – as well as their physical and emotional health. This is important, as there are many different learning styles and it is only through these various learning styles that we can heal ourselves from our health problems.