Medical treatment is the management and care of a patient with a disease or injury by a health care professional. It may involve medicine, physical therapy, psychotherapy or surgical intervention. A patient’s health care providers can cure some diseases or reduce symptoms, and sometimes they may even make a problem go away completely. Medical treatments can be very invasive. They can include the suturing of a wound, the application of a cast or other professional means to immobilize an injured part of the body, the surgical removal of dead skin (debridement) and the drainage of blood from a cut or puncture.
The field of medicine includes specialties focused on specific age ranges, organ systems or disease classes. For example, internal medicine is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of the whole body, while pediatrics (or paediatrics) focuses on infants, children and adolescents.
A primary care physician is often the first point of contact for a medical patient. They work in physician offices, clinics and other community settings. Primary care practitioners can include physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants.
Psychiatry is the medical specialty that addresses mental illnesses, including emotional and behavioral disorders. Pediatric psychiatry focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of children, while adult psychiatry deals with adults. Neurology is the medical specialty that addresses diseases of the nervous system, and obstetrics and gynecology deal with pregnancy and childbirth in both men and women.
When a patient visits the doctor, their medical encounter will be documented in the patient’s medical record. This is an important legal document in many jurisdictions. Medical records can also be used for research and teaching.
The medical record usually begins with the history of present illness, or HPI, in which the patient describes their symptoms and how they have been affected by their condition. This is followed by the family history (FH) and the social history, which includes a list of hobbies, occupations and activities.
During the exam, the patient’s physician will assess the person physically, ask questions and take tests to determine the nature of their condition. The patient will also be asked about their past medical history, which is called the past medical history or PMH.
Medical treatments can be very invasive, and they are frequently accompanied by risks and side effects. Patients should carefully consider these issues before having a procedure done. They should also be aware of the three tiers of medical outcomes. They include mortality rates, functional status and quality of life. In addition, the patient should be made fully aware of all medical options and their costs before deciding on a course of treatment. This is known as informed consent. This is a fundamental principle of medical ethics. It is a tenet of the Hippocratic Oath, taken by physicians since antiquity. It is also a central pillar of the Declaration of Helsinki, which was adopted by the World Health Organization in 1948. It is considered one of the most influential documents in modern medicine.