Different Types of Hospitals

There are over 6,000 hospitals nationwide. Most of them are "general hospitals" set up to diagnose and treat most major medical conditions. Nearly 20% of the hospitals in the nation are "specialty" hospitals that specialize in diagnosing and treating particular disorders. A general hospital may not be able to offer the latest and most cutting edge treatments or be staffed by the highly trained specialists. If you suffer from an unusual disorder you might be best served by seeking out a hospital that is devoted to treating people with similar conditions.Find out about:

  • The emergency room
  • Emergency medicine physicians
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Neurosurgeons

The Emergency Room

If you have been in an accident and suffered moderate to sever injuries, chances are you went to the emergency room. If you were taken by ambulance, the hospital you went to was probably based on your condition and the proximity to the closest emergency room that can handle your type of injury. Not all emergency rooms are the same. It will depend on the type of hospital and the certification level of the emergency room. In either case an emergency room physician will have seen you.

Emergency Medicine Physicians

These physicians are highly skilled trauma specialists that manage patients requiring immediate medical care. These physicians are normally found in emergency rooms in busy hospitals and can quickly assess patients requiring immediate needs. Their role is one of stabilizing the patient so that the right specialist can be brought in to manage the patient's treatment. Once stabilized, it is likely that you will be referred to a specialist for follow-up and treatment. The specialists described below are commonly used in accidents involving moderate to sever injuries to the back and neck.

Orthopedic Surgeons

These highly trained physicians diagnose, treat, and perform surgery on people with bone and joint disorders including nerve impingement conditions of the spine and hip injuries. Not only do they have a wide expertise in treating back and neck injuries, they are often called upon to perform spinal surgeries such as the removal of a disk. Orthopedic surgeons have one of the longest training periods. Typically, the orthopedic physician will attend four years of medical school then another four to six years of residency training. Following residency, the surgeon will seek to be board certified in their specialty. Board certification demonstrates the highest level of training possible in the field.


These doctors are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of disease of the nervous system including the brain. These doctors do not perform surgery. However, Neurologists are often used in helping determine whether a patient is a surgical candidate. They are known to employ a wide variety of diagnostic tests such as nerve conduction studies and are often called upon to make cognitive assessments.