Specialists in clinical medicine diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders and act as consultants to other physicians. Specialists in laboratory medicine study the nature, cause and development of diseases in humans. Specialists in surgery perform and supervise surgical procedures. Specialists in clinical medicine usually work in private practice or in a hospital while those in laboratory medicine and in surgery usually work in hospitals. Residents in training to become specialist physicians are included in this unit group.

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Example titles

  • Anatomical pathologist
  • Anesthetist
  • Cardiac surgeon
  • Cardiologist
  • Clinical immunologist-allergist
  • Dermatologist
  • Diagnostic radiologist
  • Emergency physician
  • Endocrinologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • General pathologist
  • General surgeon
  • Geriatrician
  • Hematologist
  • Hematopathologist
  • Medical biochemist – physician
  • Medical microbiologist
  • Nephrologist
  • Neurologist
  • Neuropathologist
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Obstetrician-gynecologist
  • Oncologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Orthopedist
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Pediatric surgeon
  • Pediatrician
  • Physiatrist
  • Plastic surgeon
  • Pneumologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Respirologist
  • Rheumatologist
  • Thoracic surgeon
  • Urologist
  • Vascular surgeon

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

Specialists in clinical medicine

  • Diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders
  • Order laboratory tests, X-rays and other diagnostic procedures
  • Prescribe medication and treatment and refer patients for surgery
  • Act as consultants to other physicians
  • May conduct medical research.

Specialists in laboratory medicine

  • Study the nature, cause and development of diseases in humans and the structural and functional changes caused by diseases
  • Conduct microscopic and chemical analyses of laboratory samples and specimens
  • Supervise laboratory activities
  • Act as consultants to other physicians.

Specialists in surgery

  • Assess patients’ diseases or disorders to determine appropriate surgical procedures
  • Perform and supervise surgical procedures to correct physical abnormalities and deficiencies and repair injuries
  • Act as consultants to other physicians.

Employment requirements

Specialist physicians

  • A bachelor’s degree or in Quebec, completion of a college program and one year of pre-medicine university studies is usually required.
  • Graduation from an approved medical school and specific specialty training are required.
  • Completion of the certifying examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and licensing by the provincial or territorial licensing authority are required.

Specialists in clinical medicine

  • Four to five years of specialty residency training are required.
  • Two years of subspecialty training may also be required.

Specialists in laboratory medicine

  • Four to five years of specialty residency training are required.

Specialists in surgery

  • Five to six years of specialty residency training are required.
  • Two years of subspecialty training may also be required.

Additional information

Progression to management positions, such as director of laboratory medicine or chief of surgery, is possible with experience.

Exclusions

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