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How many types of Doctors are there?

by Dr.Sal MD on author


Hate to break it to you, but (I’m whispering), “Dr.Seuss was not a doctor”. That was the nom de plume of Theodor Seuss Geisel, an accomplished children's book author and illustrator, but no doctor.

The term "doctor" is a non-specific reference to a watermark level of academic achievement. But the term is not unique to medicine. There are doctors outside of medicine e.g. a PhD in music or statistics or astronomy is also referred to as Dr.So-and-so. "M.D." however, is specific to medicine and is short for "medical doctor".

Within the envelope of medicine however, all doctors are not created equal either. "Doctor" is an umbrella term covering at least a dozen variations in medical specialization. You cannot tell what type of doctor a doctor is, just from their prefix of "Dr.". The following is a list of the major categories of doctor covered by the term "medical doctor":

FYI, if someone starts choking on their popcorn at the cinema, don’t yell “is there a doctor in the house?”. You might get a biologist, math professor, music teacher, or Theodor Seuss Geisel stand up. Be specific and yell: “is there a physician in the house?”


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