The medical field is as expansive and multifaceted as the intricacies of the human body, in which each medical specialty fits to serve the needs of a particular realm of care. But where should an aspiring doctor like yourself begin?

If you’re looking to learn more about physician specialties, you’re in luck. Keep reading for a comprehensive list of medical specialties and subspecialties, as recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges. You never know — you may discover the specialty you want to devote your career to.



Specialists in allergy and immunology work with both adult and pediatric patients suffering from allergies and diseases of the respiratory tract or immune system. They may help patients suffering from common diseases such as asthma, food and drug allergies, immune deficiencies, and diseases of the lung. Specialists in allergy and immunology can pursue opportunities in research, education, or clinical practice.


Anesthesiology is the branch of medicine dedicated to pain relief for patients before, during, and after surgery. The American Board of Anesthesiology outlines the following subspecialties within the field in the following areas of care:

• Critical care medicine
• Hospice and palliative care
• Pain medicine
• Pediatric anesthesiology
• Sleep medicine


Dermatologists are physicians who treat adult and pediatric patients with disorders of the skin, hair, nails, and adjacent mucous membranes. They diagnose everything from skin cancer, tumors, inflammatory diseases of the skin, and infectious diseases. They also perform skin biopsies and dermatological surgical procedures.

Subspecialties within the dermatology field include the following:

• Dermatopathology
• Pediatric dermatology
• Procedural dermatology


Physicians specializing in diagnostic radiology are trained to diagnose illnesses in patients through the use of x-rays, radioactive substances, sound waves in ultrasounds, or the body’s natural magnetism in magnetic resonance images (MRIs).

They can also pursue a subspecialty in the following areas:

• Abdominal radiology
• Breast imaging
• Cardiothoracic radiology
• Cardiovascular radiology
• Chest radiology
• Emergency radiology
• Endovascular surgical neuroradiology
• Gastrointestinal radiology
• Genitourinary radiology
• Head and neck radiology
• Interventional radiology
• Musculoskeletal radiology
• Neuroradiology
• Nuclear radiology
• Pediatric radiology
• Radiation oncology
• Vascular and interventional radiology


Physicians specializing in emergency medicine provide care for adult and pediatric patients in emergency situations. These specialists provide immediate decision making and action to save lives and prevent further injury. They help patients in the pre-hospital setting by directing emergency medical technicians and assisting patients once they arrive in the emergency department.

Emergency medicine is also home to several subspecialties, including the following:

• Anesthesiology critical care medicine
• Emergency medical services
• Hospice and palliative medicine
• Internal medicine / Critical care medicine
• Medical toxicology
• Pain medicine
• Pediatric emergency medicine
• Sports medicine
• Undersea and hyperbaric medicine

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