Medical practitioners diagnose physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries, and prescribe medications and treatment to promote or restore good health.
Medical practitioners may perform the following tasks:
- examine the patient to determine the nature of the disorder or illness and record the patient's medical information
- order, perform and analyse laboratory tests, X-rays and other diagnostic images and procedures
- provide overall care for patients and prescribe and administer treatments, medications and other remedial measures
- aid in the prevention of diseases and disorders by advising patients on diet, exercise, hygiene and general health
- prescribe and administer medication and inoculate patients to prevent infectious or contagious diseases
- provide pre- and post-natal care
- report births, deaths and notifiable diseases to government authorities
- arrange for patients to be admitted to hospital
- refer patients to other medical specialists and exchange relevant medical details.
An anaesthetist administers anaesthetics to patients who are undergoing surgery and takes care of them during and after the operation. Anaesthetists are also involved in pain management.
Emergency Medicine Specialist
An emergency medicine specialist diagnoses and manages serious and life-threatening health problems in patients of all ages using a wide range of medical and surgical skills and resuscitation techniques.
Intensive Care Specialist
An intensive care specialist diagnoses and provides intensive medical care for critically ill patients, often through the use of organ support systems.
A neurologist studies and treats injuries and diseases affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and muscle tissue.
An obstetrician/gynaecologist provides medical care before, during and after childbirth (obstetrics), and diagnoses, treats and assists in the prevention of disorders of the female reproductive system (gynaecology).
An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats diseases, injuries and deficiencies of the eye.
A paediatrician diagnoses and treats diseases of children from birth to early adolescence.
A pathologist uses laboratory procedures to identify and diagnose the presence and stages of diseases and possible sources of infection in body tissues, fluids, secretions and other specimens.
A physician may specialise in one of many branches of medicine, such as internal medicine, cardiology (treatment of heart disease), rheumatology (treatment of arthritis), allergy, neurology, haematology (treatment of diseases of the blood and blood forming tissues), or geriatrics (diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting elderly people).
A psychiatrist diagnoses and treats mental, emotional and behavioural disorders.
A radiologist diagnoses and treats diseases using radiant energies such as X-rays, ultrasound, gamma rays and radio waves.
A sports doctor concerned with the treatment and prevention of sporting injuries caused by sporting accidents or overuse. They may monitor sporting performances and provide on-site medical treatment. Sports medicine practitioners also diagnose injuries and devise treatment programs to assist sportspeople to return to training or competition.
A surgeon may specialise in many areas such as orthopaedic surgery (bones and joints), plastic and reconstructive surgery, ophthalmology, cancer surgery and otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat).
Medical practitioners are involved in a wide range of activities including consultations, attending emergencies, performing operations and arranging medical investigations. In caring for patients, medical practitioners work with many other health professionals. They may also participate in and undertake research.
Medical practitioners sometimes have to deal with unpleasant conditions due to a patient's illness or injury. Adopting strict hygiene practices is important.
Depending on their area of specialisation, medical practitioners may have to work long, demanding and irregular hours. This may include working on weekends and at night or being on call 24 hours a day.
- good communication skills
- able to relate to people
- compassionate towards others
- enjoy working with people
- a high degree of motivation and self-discipline.
- Army Officer
- Life Scientist
- Medical Scientist
- Speech Pathologist
- Sports Scientist
Education and Training, Employment Opportunities and Additional Information
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