Hematology refers to the study of blood and its components. This is the branch of medicine that also involves the study and treatment of blood-related abnormalities and health concerns. Doctors who specialize in this field are referred to as hematologists. A licensed hematologist is in-charge of diagnosing blood-related illnesses. He/she is also responsible for formulating the treatment and management options for different patients with illnesses involving abnormalities in the blood. Some doctors in hematology may also work on research and do regular review of blood slides and samples or do laboratory tests involving blood-related samples and specimens.
Medical illnesses such as anemia and leukemia are some of many examples of disorder s that are diagnosed and/or managed by a doctor who specializes in hematology. In the case of anemia, there is an abnormally low count of red blood cells. Some of these conditions are related to iron-deficiency and so patients are often advised to take iron supplements or eat foods that are high in iron. Some types of anemia have unknown causes and these are also treated appropriately by hematologists. In the case of leukemia, there is abnormal production of white blood cells by the person’s bone marrow. Different types of this blood disorder are also managed and treated by those who specialize in hematology.
Regular doctors who wish to specialize in hematology may need additional2 to 4 years of training and experience in order to become certified. Aside from the usual posts in treating blood-related illnesses and disorders, hematologists may also be part of research or work in blood banks. Stem-cell treatments also involve a team of doctors including doctors specializing in hematology. Some hematologists are also pathologists who specialize in diagnosing diseases. When the disease is blood-related the work of a pathologist and hematologist may overlap and this creates another medical specialty called hematopathology.