Medical Specialists of the Nervous System: Terminology

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  • 0:04 Nervous System Specialties
  • 0:31 Anesthesiologist vs.…
  • 1:41 Neurologist vs. Neurosurgeon
  • 2:15 Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Ever needed to relax a bit? Maybe you had a nervous twitch that wouldn't go away. Maybe you worry too much. Maybe, just maybe, one of these medical specialists of the nervous system can help you.

Nervous System Specialties

I'm going to get so much slack for this, but who is so boring that they put everyone to sleep? An anesthesiologist, of course!

Okay, maybe it's not the funniest joke, and I really hope that if I ever need surgery, my anesthesiologist never reads this lesson or else I may never wake up. Should I be nervous?

Eh, why don't we go over some of the medical specialists involved in the nervous system? Maybe it'll help calm my nerves.

Anesthesiologist vs. Anesthetist

So, who is an anesthesiologist anyways? An anesthesiologist is a medical specialist that has completed an accredited residency program in anesthesiology, one who administers or oversees the administration of anesthesia before, during, or after surgery.

Anesthesia is defined as a total or partial loss of sensation, with or without an accompanying loss of consciousness, which is caused by drugs that induce such an insensibility, drugs known collectively as anesthetics.

The word for this specialist, an anesthesiologist, is broken down as follows. 'An-' means 'without,' 'esthesi' refers to 'feeling' or 'sensation,' and '-ologist' means a person who practices and/or specializes in some sort of branch of knowledge or science. Sort of like geologist, oncologist, and so on.

The team an anesthesiologist oversees may include nurse anesthetists. An anesthetist is a medical professional who is trained in administering anesthesia. This term is mainly used to refer to someone who does this other than a doctor.

Neurologist vs. Neurosurgeon

On to the next set of medical specialists. These people get on everybody's nerves.

A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating non-surgical diseases of the nervous system. 'Neuro-' means 'nerve.' I said that a neurologist deals with non-surgical aspects of the nervous system because a neurosurgeon is a surgeon who specializes in managing diseases of the nervous system. Together these two types of doctors can treat everything from headache disorders to seizure disorders to stroke.

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist

And, while a neurosurgeon tries to get inside your head physically, a psychiatrist or psychologist tries to do so mentally. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in psychiatry, the branch of medicine that deals with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. The prefix 'psych-' refers to the 'mind.'

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