Health Care Providers: Hematologists
What Is Hematology?
Hematology (hee-muh-TOL-uh-jee) is the medical specialty that treats diseases and problems relating to blood. This includes problems with blood vessels, blood cells that are part of and bone marrow, and the blood-clotting system.
What Are Hematologists?
A hematologist (hee-muh-TOL-uh-jist) is a doctor who specializes in treating blood diseases and bleeding disorders.
Why Would Someone Need One?
Hematologists diagnose and treat many different conditions, including:
- sickle cell disease
- neurocutaneous syndromes (such as Sturge-Weber syndrome and neurofibromatosis)
- hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
- blood clotting disorders
What Do Hematologists Do?
They do tests and treatments such as:
- blood tests
- bone marrow (stem cell) transplant
- blood transfusions
- bone marrow biopsy
- ablation therapy
What Is Their Training?
Hematologists who treat kids and teens have training that typically includes:
- 4 years of pre-medical education at a college or university
- 4 years of medical school — a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree
- 3 years of training in an internal medicine residency program
- 2–3 years of pediatric hematology training in a fellowship program. A “fellow” is a doctor who had more specialty training after completing medical school and residency training.
They also might have expertise in a specific blood disorder.
Good to Know
A hematopathologist (heh-mat-uh-pah-THOL-uh-jist) is another medical expert who specializes in conditions that affect blood cells. They usually are not directly involved in patient care, but instead work in labs to study and diagnose conditions such as anemia, leukemias, lymphomas, infections, bleeding disorders, and blood clotting disorders.