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What are the Different Fields of Western Medicine?

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  • Written By: Marisa O'Connor
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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There are many different fields of Western medicine. These fields can be separated into many different categories of specialty. Some fields specialize in parts or functions of the body, such as cardiovasology and immunology. Other fields concentrate on ages of the patient, such as pediatrics and geriatrics. Nutrition and alternative medicine are specialty fields that deal with specific types of treatment.

Cardiovasology is one field of Western medicine that specializes in heart health. This field takes care of diseases affecting the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, veins, and blood vessels. Prevention of cardiovascular disease is just as important, if not more important, than treating disease because problems in the cardiovascular system are so often life threatening.

Immunology is a field of Western medicine that focuses on the immune system. This field studies all states of the immune system, healthy or diseased. Clinical immunology is the study of diseases that are caused by malfunction of the immune system. AIDS is one of the most well-known diseases that affect the immune system. This field also studies diseases that are affected by immune system reactions.

Pediatrics is a field of Western medicine that specializes in infants, children, and young adults. Pediatrics not only deals with childhood disease prevention and treatment, but also studies healthy childhood development. Doctors who specialize in pediatrics are called pediatricians. Pediatricians often serve as child and family advocates in addition to treating symptoms, as they sometimes come across domestic abuse cases.

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Geriatrics is one field of Western medicine that treats the elderly. There is no age limit to when patients should start to see a geriatrician, the doctor who specializes in geriatrics. That decision is based on the patient's individual medical needs. This field focuses on the treatment and prevention of disease in elderly people as well as long-term care for terminal patients.

Nutrition is a field of Western medicine that studies the relationship between diet and health. This is a field that is often integrated into many other fields of specialty as well as general practice. Food is the body's primary source of nutrients and energy, so it makes perfect sense that nutrition plays an important role in health. Most treatment plans for a variety of illnesses include adjustments to diet.

Alternative medicine includes treatment that is often supplemental to more traditional methods of Western practice. Typically, it is categorized as such because it lacks the scientific support that traditional Western practice usually has. Herbal remedies, acupressure, and reflexology are all common types of alternative treatments.

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