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Purpose and Mission
Medical doctors (MDs) treat people for illnesses and injuries and are typically employed in hospitals, clinics, medical centres or private practices. Doctors may also work for schools, companies, sports teams or the military. The primary responsibilities of medical doctors includes prescribing medications, diagnosing ailments, ordering diagnostic tests, performing treatments (including surgeries) and keeping track of patient healthcare information.
Medical doctors can specialise in a number of areas:
· General Practice / Family Medicine· General Medicine / Specialist· Surgery· Emergency Medicine / Acute Care· Anaesthetists General· Obstetrics and Gynaecology· Medical ICU· Psychiatry / Mental Health· Oncology· Paediatrics· Orthopaedics/TR· Urology· Geriatric· Cardiology· Endocrinology· Gastroenterology· Respiratory· Orthopaedics· Psychiatry / Mental Health· Rheumatology· ENT· Nephrology
A doctor’s job varies by specialty and work environment. Medical doctors who work in a private family practice are often able to set their own schedules and work hours that suit them best. However, emergency room doctors typically work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment. They often see urgent cases with very short notice and need to think quickly on their feet. Surgeons are doctors who perform procedures like putting a titanium pin in a broken bone or a liver or heart transplant.
Although most medical doctors see patients in their offices or in hospitals, some doctors also make house calls to treat bed-ridden patients.
Becoming a medical doctor requires an undergraduate degree, graduating from medical school and completing a residency program in her specialty of choice. Continuing education is required to maintain licensure.
All doctors must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) to practise in Australia, as well as with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which provides administrative and policy support to the National Health Practitioners Boards.
Responsibilities of Medical Doctors
The responsibilities of medical doctors varies based on their specialty and where they practice. A general practitioner focuses on the care of general medical illnesses, chronic health problems, providing preventative care such as health education, immunisations and early detection of serious illnesses, which involves referrals to specialists such as oncologists, cardiologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, etc.
Most surgeons specialise in a specific type of procedure (brain surgeon, heart surgeon, etc.). Family practice doctors are playing a larger role in the modern healthcare system in Australia and across the globe. These generalist physicians act as gatekeepers to triage patients into the healthcare system. As well as diagnosing and treating patients for illnesses, GPs play a big role in providing advice on preventative treatments and wellness programs to minimise long-term demand on the healthcare system.