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Surgical Technologist Guides: Studying Medical Images

With a great amount of various conditions in the medical field, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between diagnoses.  Medicine is a complex field of study, encompassing numerous specialties and subspecialties, and ranging from the maintenance of health to treatment of disorders. There are numerous and interweaving components relating to the proper diagnosis and treatment of a disease, disorder, or condition, and as such, no certain specialty can be considered more important than the other. As an ongoing effort to contribute the most valuable resources on surgical technology to our readers, listed below are a few resources on various specialties in medicine to help you better understand the collective approach of the human body.


Anatomy and Orthopedics

Anatomy, in medicine, is the study of the body’s anatomical structure, from the skeleton to organs. Orthopedics involves the specific study of the musculoskeletal system, including the bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.


The Visible Human Project

In order to help better visualize the anatomy of the human body, the U.S. National Library of Medicine launched the Visible Human Project. The Visible Human Project used cross-sectional photographs of the human body or “slices” of a male and female cadaver.

Cardiovascular System

The human body contains a closed cardiovascular system consisting of the heart, blood, and blood vessels. The heart pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, while distributing oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

Dentistry and Oral Health

Dentistry and oral health pertains to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral diseases and conditions. Dentistry may range from general health and maintenance to oral surgery, as well as treatments for various related oral disorders.



The branch of medicine that deals primarily with the skin and skin diseases is known as dermatology. This field includes conditions of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails.


The endocrine system is a complex matrix of glands that secrete various hormones throughout the body for it to correctly function. Endocrinology is the study of these glands and hormones, as well as the various diseases and disorders associated with them. This includes any issues related to metabolism, respiration, sensory perception, and reproduction.

Eye, ENT Ear, Nose, Throat and Respiratory System

Also known as otolaryngology, ENT is the study and treatment of issues arising from the ear, nose, throat and occasionally, the back of the head and neck. Conditions and disorders may include common maladies such as allergies and sinuses, to more complex problems involving vascular malformations and major airway constrictions.


The study of gastroenterology may involve all organs of the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth, anus, and intestines. Common gastroenterology disorders include problems associated with the stomach, pancreas, liver, intestines, esophagus, and colon, and can range from acid reflux to specific cancers.            

Gynecology & Obstetrics

Otherwise commonly known as OB-GYN, the study of gynecology and obstetrics involves pregnant and non-pregnant issues involving the female reproductive system. Specialties within this field include fertility treatments, maternal-fetal medicine, and menstrual and menopausal gynecology.


Hematology is the study of blood, blood-forming organs, and blood diseases, ranging from blood conditions such as anemia to blood transfusion processes. It is a field of medicine that is often closely associated with oncology study of tumors, due to the overlapping commonalities with blood cancers, such as leukemia.

  • Pictures in Hematology illustrated case studies – MedNet HELLAS


The study of cells from a microscopic standpoint is known as histology. In histology, the anatomy of a cell is thoroughly examined for diseased or abnormal tissues for diagnostic purposes, such as cancer.

Microbiology, Infectious Diseases

Microbiology, specifically for the purposes of studying infectious diseases, is a field of medicine that focuses on the pathology and anatomy of microorganisms leading to viruses and infections. Areas of concentration include the common cold, to rare parasites, to STDs and AIDS.


In medicine, the study of the nervous system, or more importantly, the disorders associated with the nervous system, is known as neurology. This includes conditions involving the central brain and spine, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems.


Oncology, in medicine, is the study of tumors and/or cancers. Oncology may include treatment of benign tumors or masses, but will primarily involve the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers and malignant tumors.


Pathology is the study of diseases, including the causes, mechanisms, and complications of abnormalities in the human body. Pathology seeks to find explanations of the pathways and behaviors of diseases for prevention and treatment purposes. Another common branch of pathology is forensic pathology, which determines the cause of death of a person.


The branch of medicine that is specialized for infants, children, and adolescents is known as pediatrics. Ideally, pediatrics will help monitor and supervise the health, growth, and general well being of a young person until adulthood.

Radiology/-graphy, Nuclear Medicine & Ultrasonography

The use of imaging to help diagnose disease is known as radiology. This includes imaging technologies such as the X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography CT, positron emission tomography PET, and magnetic resonance imaging MRI.


Surgery is the operational procedure to treat a condition such as a disease or injury. Anesthesiology is employed congruently with surgery to temporarily block pain and/or induce paralysis while the procedure is performed.


Sex organs and the urinary structure is a branch in medicine known as urogenital studies. Urogenital may include any disorders involving the utilities in which urine is produced and expelled, as well as sexually transmitted diseases and assorted genital conditions.

Image source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/art/med/skeleton.htm