Specialist medical practitioners (medical doctors) diagnose, treat and prevent illness, disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments in humans, using specialized testing, diagnostic, medical, surgical, physical and psychiatric techniques through application of the principles and procedures of modern medicine. They specialize in certain disease categories, types of patient or methods of treatment and may conduct medical education and research in their chosen areas of specialization.
Tasks include -
(a) conducting physical examinations of patients and interviewing them and their families to determine their health status;
(b) considering medical information provided by a referring doctor or other health care provider,
(c) ordering specialized diagnostic tests to determine the nature of disorders or illnesses;
(d) prescribing, administering and monitoring patients’ responses to treatments, medications, anaesthetics, psychotherapies, physical rehabilitation programmes and other preventive and curative measures;
(e) performing surgery of a general or specialized nature;
(f) managing complications before, during and after childbirth;
(g) recording patients’ medical information and exchanging information with other health professionals to ensure the provision of comprehensive care;
(h) reporting births, deaths and notifiable diseases to government authorities to meet legal and professional requirements;
(i) providing information to patients and families and communities about preventive measures, treatment and care for specific ailments;
(j) performing autopsies to determine cause of death;
(k) conducting research into specific human disorders and illnesses and preventive or curative methods and disseminating the findings such as through scientific reports;
(l) planning and participating in programmes designed to prevent the occurrence and spread of specific diseases.
Examples of the occupations classified here:
- Emergency medicine specialist
- Preventive medicine specialist
- Radiation oncologist
- Resident medical officer in specialist training
- Specialist medical practitioner (public health)
- Specialist physician (internal medicine)
- Specialist physician (nuclear medicine)
Some related occupations classified elsewhere:
- Biomedical researcher - 2131
- General practitioner - 2211
- Resident medical officer specializing in general practice - 2211
- Dental practitioner - 2261
- Dental surgeon - 2261
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon - 2261
- Clinical psychologist - 2634
Occupations included in this unit group require completion of a university-level degree in basic medical education plus postgraduate clinical training in a medical specialization (except general practice) or equivalent. Resident medical officers and interns training as specialist practitioners (except general practice) are included here. Although in some countries 'stomatology' may be considered as a medical specialization, stomatologists should be included in Unit group -2261, Dentists.
Medical research professionals who participate in biomedical research using living organisms and do not undertake clinical practice are classified in Unit Group 2131: Biologists, Botanists, Zoologists and Related Professionals.