1) Cardiothoracic surgery
Cardiothoracic surgeons specialise in the treatment and management of diseases that occur in the organs inside the chest and in the bony structures and tissues that form the chest cavity. Coronary artery disease is one of the most common diseases treated by cardiothoracic surgeons. General thoracic surgeons primarily treat lung cancer and diseases of the esophagus and chest wall. Congenital heart surgeons care for babies and children with holes between the heart chambers or abnormal connections within the heart. Listed below are some examples of diseases treated by cardiothoracic surgeons.
• Coronary artery disease or blockages of the arteries in the heart
• Blockages in the heart valves
• Leaking heart valves
• Abnormal enlargement or aneurysms of the large arteries in the chest
• Heart failure
• Atrial fibrillation
2) Chemical pathology
Chemical pathology is the branch of pathology which deals with the diagnosis and management of disease by use of chemicals present in body fluids and tissues. Typically, chemical pathology laboratories are the largest sub-units in pathology departments and commonly perform measurements of many different chemicals on hundreds of patient samples each day. Because many of these analyses are time-critical, the chemical pathology laboratory is usually highly automated and uses complex analysers that are capable of performing many analyses in a short time frame. Chemical pathologists are responsible for running these laboratories, ensuring the quality of the results, and providing a diagnostic service and advice to clinicians. This requires a sophisticated knowledge of the pathophysiology of disease, the diagnostic value of individual tests, and also of the work of the laboratory. A significant part of the work of the chemical pathologist entails oral communication with clinical colleagues, and for this reason significant emphasis is put on oral communication skills both in training and in assessment
3) Anatomical pathology
Anatomical pathology is the study of organs and tissues to determine the causes and effects of particular diseases. An anatomical pathologist’s findings are fundamental to medical diagnosis, patient management and research. Anatomical pathology involves macroscopic pathology, histopathology (the combination of these two usually being referred to as “surgical” pathology), cytopathology and morbid anatomy. Histopathology is concerned with the microscopic examination of tissues, taken either as biopsy samples or resection specimens. Tissues are assessed macroscopically, and material is taken for microscopic examination for the purpose of diagnosis, prognosis and directing appropriate treatment. Cytopathology is the study of individual cells aspirated or obtained from body fluids or tissues, including exfoliative cytology, to detect abnormalities. Morbid anatomy is the use of the autopsy to determine cause of death and investigate both the associated and “incidental” (unrelated to cause of death) effects of drugs, toxins and disease processes on bodily organs. Anatomical pathologists work with almost all medical specialties, including surgeons and general practitioners, using techniques available in the anatomical pathology laboratory to provide information and advice essential to clinical practic.
Anaesthesia refers to the practice of administering medications either by injection or by inhalation that block the feeling of pain and other sensations, or that produce a deep state of unconsciousness that eliminates all sensations, which allows medical and surgical procedures to be undertaken without causing undue distress or discomfort.
Relief of pain and suffering is central to the practice of anaesthesia. Specialist anaesthetists are fully qualified medical doctors who hold a degree in medicine and spend at least two years working in the hospital system before completing a further five years (or equivalent) of accredited training in anaesthesia culminating in being awarded a diploma of fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), which can be recognised by the initials FANZCA after their name. General Practitioners (GP) are able to offer anaesthesia services in rural areas where there is no ongoing specialist cover available. It means that a general practitioner is able to offer this service to their community to avoid patients having to travel to larger regional centres to access surgery. GP anaesthesia training is administered by the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA).
GPs can practice with a sub-specialty; this allows them to focus on a particular area of medical interest. See below for further information on the training requirements for a sub-specialty in Anaesthesia .
5) Addiction Medicine
Addiction medicine is the comprehensive care of people with a wide range of addiction disorders, including drug and alcohol addiction and pharmaceutical dependency. Addiction medicine physicians work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team of clinicians to improve health outcomes for patients.
GPs can practice with a sub-specialty; this allows them to focus on a particular area of medical interest. See below for further information on the training requirements for a sub-specialty in Addiction Medicine .