Different Types of Doctors: Your “MD” Guide

When you think of a “doctor,” your mind likely goes to your general practitioner. But, of course, there are plenty of other types of doctors, including cardiologists, dermatologists, and more. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of doctors and how you can become one!

Source: Pixabay user marionbrun.

What Types of Doctors Are There?

1. Allergists and Immunologists

Allergists and immunologists focus on disorders of the immune system, including things like rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, eczema, and more.

  • Average Salary: $270,000
  • Projected Job Growth (between 2018 and 2028): Little to no change


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2. Cardiologist

Cardiologists work with individuals’ cardiovascular systems, including the heart and its health. They may check for heart disease, hypertension, and other diseases associated with the system.

  • Average Salary: $417,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 16%

3. Family Medicine Physicians

Family medicine physicians work with patients of all ages to better their health, check for diseases, prescribe medicines, and recommend specialists if necessary. They’re usually your first go-to if you need to go to the doctor! 

  • Average Salary: $220,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 19%

4. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN)

OBGYNs assist women with the reproductive system, pregnancy, and childbirth. They may also offer surgical care. Obstetrics in particular focuses on childbirth at all points (before, during, and after).

  • Average Salary: $306,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 8%

5. Pediatrician

Pediatricians work with children and their emotional, physical, and social health. In addition to treating diseases, they can offer recommendations for behavioral problems. Some pediatricians double as family doctors. 

  • Average Salary: $170,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 2%

6. Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists focus on mental health, mental disorders, and prescribing medication to assist with those issues. They can also help with substance abuse, addiction, and therapy.

  • Average Salary: $244,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 25%

7. General Internal Medicine Physicians

General internal medicine physicians work with patients on their internal health – a broad range! Some focus on health maintenance and disease screening, and many will have specific areas of work, such as endocrinology.

  • Average Salary: $223,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 9%

And More

There are dozens of other types of doctors – too many to list here! Some other areas of work include:

  • Endocrinologist
  • Neurologist
  • Surgeon
  • Sleep doctor
  • Radiologist
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • Urologist
  • Emergency medicine doctor

How Do You Become a Doctor?

Becoming a doctor is no easy feat! It can take over a decade to become one – and it requires extensive schooling. To become a doctor, you will have to:

  • Graduate high school with a high GPA preferably
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree (usually in pre-med) and take the required prerequisites 
  • Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Attend medical school
  • Complete a residency training program and/or participate in fellowship training program

More specialized areas, such as surgery, may require more training than other physicians need.

Best Schools For Pre-Med

If you want to increase your opportunities for medical school and have a higher chance of getting accepted, it helps to attend a college with a standout pre-med program. Some examples include:

1. Harvard University

Did you know that, at Harvard, “17 percent of a given class will apply to medical school?” Harvard is regularly named a top pre-med school, and it works with several teaching hospitals nearby.

2. John Hopkins University

John Hopkins University is usually associated with medicine, so it’s no wonder that it is one of the best schools in the country for pre-med. Students have access to research opportunities, clinical opportunities, extensive resources, and a pre-med advising program track.

3. Duke University

Duke University pre-med students also have access to several resources to help with their education and future career, including study abroad programs, hands-on research, and other unique opportunities.

4. University of Pennsylvania

Many areas of study at the University of Pennsylvania offer the opportunity for you to take pre-med classes. The pre-med track itself has an advising program to help you with your goals and 82% of pre-med students from Penn are admitted to medical school!

5. Stanford University

Stanford University offers pre-med students advising, internship opportunities, and assistance with long-term goals in the medical field. 

Becoming a doctor isn’t easy, but it is extremely rewarding if you stick with it! Future doctors can choose from a wide variety of specializations that fit their career goals! But planning ahead and working with a solid pre-med program from the get-go will make all the difference for students.

Are you planning on becoming a doctor? Finding the right college for your pre-med program is essential. Thankfully, our College Match tool helps you identify those colleges that best fit your wants, needs, and goals. And it’s completely free! Learn more about your chances of admission to the colleges listed above and find other great pre-med colleges here.

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