Medical Specialties

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Medical Specialties


For numerous professions, the primary occupation choices are followed by the need to choose a specialty within that profession. Whether a nurse, a physician, or allied health professional, choosing a medical specialty will help focus your instructive goals, career search efforts, and job options. For instance, physicians-in-training need to decide whether to specialize in pediatrics, orthopedics, psychiatry, Allergy and Immunology, Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Gynecology. (Louis, 55).

Discussion and Analysis

Ophthalmology is the medical specialty dealing with the anatomy, function, pathology and treatment of the eye. It includes numerous subspecialties such as the cornea and external disease, glaucoma, vitreo-retinal diseases, oculoplastic surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, and ocular pathology. Ophthalmology has a long history and continues to evolve as new technologies become available. Despite the incredible progress, the prevention of eye diseases and blindness worldwide is still a major challenge. Regular eye exams, diagnosis and treatment by trained ophthalmic specialists remain inaccessible and unaffordable for millions of people. More than 90% of blind people in the world live in developing countries. Ophthalmologists are often concentrated in large cities, while the majority of the population live in poor rural areas. Social and economic deprivation experienced by blind people extends throughout a community and translates into a downward spiral socioeconomic. This can be reversed through widely available, appropriate, cost-effective interventions for prevention and treatment. In 1999, the international community has launched Vision 2020: The Right to sight to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020 through integrated, sustainable eye care systems worldwide. One of the many targets identified by the Vision 2020 is the training of ophthalmologists and eye health professionals accessories even more remote communities (Louis, 60).

Ophthalmologists are doctors with several years of specialization in medical and surgical care of the eye. Ophthalmologists perform eye exams, prescribe glasses and contact lenses, and treat all conditions that directly affect the eye and its muscles, bones and skin. As conditions that affect different parts of the body may become apparent in the eye, ophthalmology is closely associated with other fields of medicine. Ophthalmologists can diagnose conditions with ocular manifestations and to refer patients for appropriate medical treatment. Following medical school and internship, ophthalmologists often complete fellowships in one of the subspecialties encompassed by ophthalmology: cornea and external disease, glaucoma, vitreoretinal diseases, oculoplastic surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, and ophthalmic pathology. (Roy,140)

Ophthalmic Subspecialties

The subspecialty of cornea and external disease involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva and eyelids. This comprises corneal dystrophies, microbial infections, conjunctival and corneal tumors, inflammatory processes and anterior ocular manifestations of systemic diseases. Corneal and external disease specialists are trained in surgery of the cornea and corneal refractive surgery to correct refractive errors. The subspecialty of glaucoma includes the management of chronic glaucoma, acute, congenital, and secondary or any condition associated with increased intraocular pressure and changes of the optic nerve. Glaucoma specialists treat adult and pediatric patients with medications, laser trabeculoplasty and iridotomy. The subspecialty of vitreoretinal disease includes both the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ...
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