Do You Know Enough to Match the Medical Condition to the Doctor Who Treats It?


By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Natasha Alipour Faridani / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

When was the last time you heard someone say they had to go to the doctor? You probably didn't question them (or maybe you thought better of it). The fact is, not all doctors are created equal. No, we don't mean one is "better" than another! But simply put, there are so many quirks in our human anatomy, it's not possible for one doctor to understand them all! Think of it: The human body has 11 different organ systems, ranging from circulatory to digestive. There are roughly 206 bones from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Those bones are complemented by 600 muscles, 32 teeth and 78 organs, each with their own functions! Phew, it's a lot to keep up with.

No doubt, aspiring doctors spend a great deal of time studying and preparing to become the trusted medical resources you look to when you schedule an appointment. Many hours hitting the books, doing rounds, participating in clinical rotations and learning about the body eventually translate into an M.D. or D.O. and an associated -ologist or other designation to go along with it.

But just how many of those specialties do you know? If you sprain an ankle in a pick-up basketball game, do you need a radiologist or a gerontologist? (For some of us, maybe both!) If you have an earache, a stomachache or a backache, what type of medical professional are you seeking out? 

Test your expertise in this quiz by matching medical conditions to the doctors who treat them. Sorry, you don't get to write any prescriptions!

Think you may be allergic to gluten? One of these doctors can help you figure it out. Which is it?

Immunologists, also sometimes referred to as allergists, help to diagnose and treat conditions that impact the human body's immune system — see part of the word "immune" right in the job title? Immunologists may see patients with symptoms of allergies, celiac disease, asthma, lupus and other autoimmune disorders.


'Da Bears were the source of more than one heart attack for the characters in Bill Swerski's SNL skit. What doctor would they need to call?

The title of "cardiologist" is literally taken from the Greek word "kardia," which means heart, combined with "-ologist," to give us the name of someone who studies the heart. Cardiologists see patients for heart-related matters, including heart attacks, hypertension and arrhythmias.


Acne plagues teenagers and adults alike. Which medical professional specializes in treating it?

Dermatologists are noted for their expertise in dealing with all manner of skin disorders, ranging from acne and eczema to suspicious-looking moles. And don't even get them started on tanning beds! They're not fans.


Type 1 or Type 2: Which of these specialists treats those with diabetes?

In short, an endocrinologist specializes in the functioning of the body's endocrine system. The endocrine system includes glands and organs that help moderate things like insulin. Individuals with diabetes have trouble with insulin, either resisting it or not producing enough.


Anemia got you feeling tired and weak? Which of these doctors can help you?

Hematologists specialize in disorders that impact the blood circulating in the body, as well as disorders of the lymphatic system and the spleen. Anemia, more specifically, occurs when a person's blood is deficient in red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.


Conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may require the supervision of which specialist?

A gastroenterologist is well-qualified to handle issues related to the stomach and digestive organs. So, if you're experiencing symptoms such as pain in your abdomen, diarrhea, ulcers and the like, a trip to the gastroenterologist's office is probably in your near future.


Recurring conditions and symptoms resistant to treatment are the specialties of this doctor. What title do they bear?

You won't frequently need to consult with an infectious disease specialist unless you have a recurring infection or one that appears resistant to traditional lines of treatment. Your general practitioner may refer you to this specialist for additional testing.


Two pervasive diseases, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, are diagnosed and treated by this medical specialist. What is their title?

Diseases and disorders of the nervous system are the specialty of doctors who pursue a neurology specialty. They see patients who have been diagnosed with disorders that impact the brain, nerves and spinal cord, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and epilepsy.


If you have two X chromosomes, you'll encounter this medical expert sooner or later. Who are we talking about?

Women everywhere, rejoice. Only you are treated to at least yearly visits to the gynecologist from early in your teenage years to well after menopause. Gynecologists handle reproductive health issues for the ladies.


This is the doctor you'll visit if you hear the "C" word. Which of these specialists is it?

Oncologists help treat various diagnoses of cancer and coordinate care of patients alongside surgeons and radiation therapists. Treatment for cancer typically involves chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery, requiring the involvement of many different medical professionals.


Whether you have astigmatism or a cataract, this physician can treat it. Who are we referencing?

Of course, you don't typically tell people you're going to the ophthalmologist; rather, you probably say you're going to the eye doctor. An ophthalmologist is skilled not only in prescribing glasses or contacts to treat near- or farsightedness, but also in treating conditions of the eye, such as glaucoma.


Problems with your E, N or T? You need an appointment with this specialist. Which one is it?

Otolaryngologists are frequently called ENTs or ENT physicians for the areas of the body they treat — the ears (E), nose (N) and throat (T). Otolaryngology is sometimes referred to as the world's oldest medical specialty.


As far as physicians go, this is one pretty specialized field. Who would you see if you're having problems with your feet?

Whether issues with your feet and ankles are a symptom of another condition or an impairment all on their own, podiatrists are up to the challenge. The origin of the word "podiatrist" comes from the Greek "pod," which means "foot," and "-iatrist," which means "healer."


There's no stigma attached to seeing this medical expert who handles mental and emotional disorders. Who is this person?

There's no stigma attached to mental illness, either. Psychiatrists treat a variety of emotional, mental and addiction disorders in patients of all genders, ages and socioeconomic stations. Psychiatrists are trained as medical doctors, so they can also prescribe medications.


Wheezing? Can't catch your breath? A trip to this physician's office may be in order. What is this medical professional called?

Pulmonologists diagnose and treat disorders of the lungs, such as pneumonia, emphysema, asthma and COPD. They are also qualified to treat conditions of the respiratory system, including everything from your nose to your trachea and larynx.


"The knee bone's connected to the ... thigh bone!" And if you have trouble with either, this specialty physician can help you. Who would you see?

Rheumatologists are doctors schooled in the understanding of pain and arthritis that can affect an individual's bones, muscles, tendons and joints. If you have anything from tendinitis in your elbow to chronic fibromyalgia, this specialist can help!


Trouble going No. 1? This doctor should be your No. 1 stop. Which specialist is it?

Urologists deal, privately, with your private areas — your urinary tract and its accompanying disorders, to be exact. Urologists can treat both men and women for everything from bladder problems to prostate cancer.


The specialist that goes by this name can treat pancreatitis and liver cancer, but their real expertise is hidden in their name. What is it?

Hepatologists specialize, primarily, in the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis, but that's not all they do. These physicians may also be sought out by patients dealing with other conditions related to the liver, gallbladder or pancreas.


Newborns can't hire their own doctors, but if they need a little extra help, this specialist is on standby. What is this doctor known as?

It only stands to reason that a newborn who needs to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) might be treated by a neonatologist. These medical experts help diagnose and treat health problems newborns and premature infants may experience.


Renal problems that lead to dialysis fall under the care of which medical expert?

Nephrologists diagnose and treat patients with kidney disorders, commonly referred to as renal problems. A specialist in this area may treat chronic kidney diseases, renal failure and even kidney stones.


You may not consider this specialist to be a doctor, but you'll be glad to have them nearby if you're having surgery. Who are we talking about?

Three cheers for anesthesiologists, who administer anesthesia and sit by you while you're under said anesthesia during surgical procedures. They're keeping close watch over your vital signs while also, well, knocking you out.


Can you hear me now? Which of these specialists treats disorders of the ear?

This might have been an easy question since the word "audio" is synonymous with hearing. Audiologists are concerned with your ability to hear. Also, they treat a variety of conditions, from tinnitus to ear disorders that can impact your balance.


If there's ever a zombie outbreak, this -ologist would be a good one to keep alive. Who is it?

Epidemiologists are studious medical professionals, no doubt! If there were a zombie outbreak, these experts would be useful to have in the humans' corner because they study how diseases are transmitted and spread. (The "double tap" is still a good idea, though.)


This doctor specializes in health issues impacting children. What is their official name?

Pediatricians must be well-trained in a variety of illnesses and conditions that can crop up in their child patients. For many families, one pediatrician will watch their children grow from birth until well into their teenage years.


Carrying a few extra pounds? Which of these medical specialists can help you drop the weight?

Bariatricians, sometimes called bariatric physicians, help individuals who may be carrying too much weight lose the extra pounds. They also treat conditions that can arise as a result of being overweight.


You hope to never encounter one, but if you have a car accident, which of these specialists may treat you?

Did someone say "emergency"? Emergency medicine specialists are employed by emergency departments of hospitals to treat a wide variety of critical incidents, including injuries sustained in a car accident.


This professional is an otolaryngologist with even more specialized training. What is this doctor called?

Apparently, an otolaryngologist with more training earns a shorter name — otologist! These professionals have extra expertise in how to diagnose and treat things like dizziness and tumors.


Life-threatening aneurysms require the expertise of which specialty surgeon?

Vascular surgeons are those who deal entirely with surgery where arteries and veins are involved. These specially trained surgeons may treat everything from aneurysms to carotid artery disease, among other conditions.


Somebody has to treat those gruesome injuries that happen on the field. Which of these professionals does it?

You don't have to be a professional athlete to require the services of a medical expert known as a sports medicine specialist. Physicians in this field (no pun intended!) treat injuries, and they work to help prevent them as well.


Want a bigger nose, breasts or backside? Which of these medical professionals should you consult?

We may think of plastic surgeons as being accessible only to celebrities trying to make some part of their bodies bigger or smaller, but regular people have these procedures too. These medical doctors also perform reconstructive procedures to assist those who have been disfigured in some capacity.


This doctor may not make you smile, but they will make your smile better. Who are we talking about?

It's true! Dentists are doctors too. The degree they receive, either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), earns them the well-respected "Dr." title. Think of dentists as doctors for your teeth!


A surgeon may fix a broken bone, but this doctor will diagnose it (with the help of equipment, of course). Who is it?

Did you know that radiologists are considered doctors? These medical professionals are trained in diagnosing a variety of medical conditions by using imaging equipment. They work with x-rays, MRIs and more.


You may not recognize much difference between a doctor who is an M.D. and a doctor who is a D.O. What is a D.O. also known as?

An osteopath or osteopathic physician is one who earns a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) in school. They focus on many of the conditions regular M.D.s treat, but with a more holistic approach.


This medical designation is relatively new and speaks to the location of the patients being treated. Who is it?

There's nothing less professional about a hospitalist. They're simply a medical doctor who chooses to treat patients who are in the hospital. The term "hospitalist" has only been in popular usage for the past decade or two.


"My neck! My back! My neck and my back!" Which of these professionals could have helped Ezal from the movie "Friday"?

Physiatrists are trained in treating injuries to the neck and the back. These types of impairments are typically brought on by sports injuries or accidents. Physiatrists, also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians or PM&R physicians, are equipped to diagnose and treat these conditions.


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