Medical Treatment

Medical treatment is the care given to a patient with a physical or mental health problem. It is sometimes referred to as therapy. The term may also be used to refer to a drug or medication prescribed by a doctor. Various healthcare professionals provide medical treatments, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical pharmacists, psychiatric nurses and social workers. Some healthcare professionals specialize in particular aspects of medicine and healthcare, such as pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, oncology, ophthalmology, pulmonology, endocrinology or geriatrics.

Modern medical treatment is based on scientific research and evidence. It has replaced earlier Western traditions rooted in herbalism, the Greek four humours and other pre-scientific notions. The modern era of medicine began with Edward Jenner’s discovery of the smallpox vaccine at the end of the 18th century, followed by Robert Koch’s discoveries of infectious diseases and antibiotics in the early 1900s.

Healthcare for people with serious illnesses is provided by specialists in hospitals called tertiary care medical services or specialty care medical services. The tertiary care medical services include trauma centers, burn centres, advanced neonatal units and high-risk obstetrics units. Specialty medical services are provided by doctors such as ophthalmologists, urologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists, hepatologists, dermatologists and radiologists.

A variety of other highly skilled health professionals are involved in the delivery of modern medical treatment, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and audiologists. They all work together as interdisciplinary teams in the health care process. The modern delivery of medical treatments also depends on information – still delivered in some settings on paper, but increasingly on computerised systems.

When it comes to deciding on treatment, patients should be fully informed of the benefits and risks. How this information is presented to them is important. Some studies have shown that different ways of explaining the outcomes of medical treatment can affect how patients perceive these outcomes. It is believed that presenting this information in more than one way can help to present balanced views to patients so that they can make their own decisions.

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