What does a vascular medicine specialist do?

Would you make a good vascular medicine specialist? Take our career test and find your match with over 800 careers.

Take the free career test Learn more about the career test

What is a Vascular Medicine Specialist?

A vascular medicine specialist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vascular disorders. Vascular disorders refer to conditions that affect the circulatory system, including the arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels. These disorders can range from common issues like varicose veins and blood clots to more serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis and peripheral artery disease.

Vascular medicine specialists work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, and cardiologists, to provide comprehensive care for patients with vascular disorders. They may also collaborate with physical therapists and other rehabilitation specialists to help patients recover from vascular procedures and manage their conditions over the long-term.

What does a Vascular Medicine Specialist do?

A vascular medicine specialist looking at the veins on a patient's leg.

Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of a vascular medicine specialist may include:

  • Diagnosis: Vascular medicine specialists are responsible for diagnosing a wide range of vascular disorders, including peripheral artery disease (PAD), venous thrombosis, varicose veins, aneurysms, and lymphedema. They conduct comprehensive medical evaluations, perform physical examinations, and interpret diagnostic tests such as Doppler ultrasound, angiography, and vascular imaging studies to accurately diagnose vascular conditions.
  • Treatment Planning: After making a diagnosis, vascular medicine specialists develop individualized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs and medical history. Treatment options may include lifestyle modifications, medication management, minimally invasive procedures, or surgical interventions to improve vascular health, alleviate symptoms, and prevent complications.
  • Medical Management: Vascular medicine specialists prescribe and manage medications to treat vascular conditions, such as anticoagulants to prevent blood clots, antiplatelet agents to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, vasodilators to improve blood flow, and cholesterol-lowering drugs to manage atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Interventional Procedures: Vascular medicine specialists perform minimally invasive procedures to treat vascular conditions, such as angioplasty, stenting, thrombolysis, and endovenous ablation for varicose veins. They may also perform diagnostic procedures, such as vascular ultrasound and vascular testing, to assess blood flow and vascular function.
  • Patient Education and Counseling: Vascular medicine specialists educate patients about their vascular condition, treatment options, and lifestyle modifications to promote vascular health and prevent disease progression. They provide counseling on topics such as smoking cessation, exercise, diet, weight management, and medication adherence to empower patients to take an active role in managing their vascular health.
  • Collaboration with Multidisciplinary Team: Vascular medicine specialists work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, including vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, cardiologists, primary care physicians, nurses, and rehabilitation specialists, to provide comprehensive and coordinated care for patients with vascular disorders. They participate in multidisciplinary meetings to discuss patient cases, treatment strategies, and outcomes.
  • Research and Education: Some vascular medicine specialists are involved in clinical research and academic teaching, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in vascular medicine through scientific studies, publications, and presentations. They may also educate medical students, residents, and fellows on vascular diseases, diagnostic techniques, and treatment modalities through lectures, workshops, and clinical rotations.

Types of Vascular Medicine Specialists
Within the field of vascular medicine, there are several types of specialists who may have different areas of expertise or focus. Some common types of vascular medicine specialists include:

  • Interventional Radiologists: Interventional radiologists are medical doctors who specialize in minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions, including vascular diseases. They perform procedures such as angiography, angioplasty, stenting, embolization, and thrombolysis to manage vascular conditions without the need for open surgery.
  • Lymphologists: Lymphologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and management of lymphatic disorders, such as lymphedema, lymphatic malformations, and lymphatic cancers. They may use a combination of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative therapies to manage lymphatic conditions and improve quality of life for patients.
  • Phlebologists: Phlebologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of venous diseases, such as varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and venous ulcers. They may perform procedures such as sclerotherapy, endovenous ablation, and phlebectomy to treat venous conditions and improve venous circulation.
  • Vascular Cardiologists: Vascular cardiologists are cardiologists who specialize in the diagnosis and management of vascular diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. They may focus on conditions such as coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease, and aortic diseases. Vascular cardiologists often perform diagnostic procedures such as cardiac catheterization and echocardiography to assess cardiovascular function.
  • Vascular Internists: Vascular internists are internal medicine physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and management of vascular diseases. They provide comprehensive medical care for patients with conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD), venous thrombosis, and aortic aneurysms, often focusing on non-invasive medical management and lifestyle interventions.
  • Vascular Surgeons: Vascular surgeons are surgical specialists who perform procedures to treat vascular diseases, such as angioplasty, stenting, bypass surgery, and endarterectomy. They may also perform vascular reconstructions and repair vascular injuries. Vascular surgeons often work closely with vascular medicine specialists to provide comprehensive care for patients with complex vascular conditions.

Vascular medicine specialists have distinct personalities. Think you might match up? Take the free career test to find out if vascular medicine specialist is one of your top career matches. Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

What is the workplace of a Vascular Medicine Specialist like?

The workplace of a vascular medicine specialist involves a combination of clinical practice, research, and teaching responsibilities. Vascular medicine specialists primarily work in hospitals, academic medical centers, and specialty clinics dedicated to cardiovascular care. Within these settings, they collaborate closely with other healthcare professionals such as vascular surgeons, cardiologists, interventional radiologists, and vascular technologists to diagnose and treat a wide range of vascular conditions.

In their clinical practice, vascular medicine specialists conduct comprehensive evaluations of patients with vascular disorders, including peripheral artery disease, venous diseases, and lymphatic disorders. They perform non-invasive diagnostic tests such as ultrasound imaging, ankle-brachial index measurement, and vascular Doppler studies to assess blood flow and identify abnormalities. Treatment approaches may include lifestyle modifications, medications, minimally invasive procedures, or surgical interventions, depending on the individual patient's needs and the severity of their condition.

In addition to clinical care, vascular medicine specialists often engage in research to advance the understanding and treatment of vascular diseases. They may participate in clinical trials, publish scientific papers, and present their findings at conferences to contribute to the broader medical community's knowledge base. Many vascular medicine specialists also take on teaching roles, educating medical students, residents, and fellows about vascular diseases, diagnostic techniques, and treatment strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Doctor Specializations and Degrees

The following is a comprehensive list of the various specializations that a doctor can pursue and a brief summary of each specialization:

  • Allergist: An allergist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma, and related conditions. Allergists have specialized training in the recognition and management of allergic reactions.
  • Anesthesiologist: An anesthesiologist keeps a patient comfortable, safe and pain-free during surgery by administering local or general anesthetic.
  • Cardiologist: A cardiologist specializes in finding, treating, and preventing diseases that affect the heart, the arteries, and the veins.
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon: A cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in surgical procedures inside the thorax (the chest), which may involve the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. As well as performing surgery, they also diagnose and treat diseases of these organs.
  • Chiropractic Neurologist: A chiropractic neurologist is a specialized type of chiropractor who has undergone additional training in the field of neurology. They diagnose and treat conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the nervous system.
  • Chiropractor: A chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic medicine, specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system, especially in the spine. Treatment is usually physical manipulation of the joints and the spine to bring them back into alignment. A chiropractor does not perform surgery or prescribe medication.
  • Colorectal Surgeon: A colorectal surgeon specializes in diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus, as well as the entire gastric tract. These surgeons work closely with urologists, who handle the urogenital tract in males and the urinary tract of women, gynecologists, who deal with specific female issues, and gastroenterologists, who deal with diseases of the gut.
  • Doctor: An general overview of what a doctor does and how to become one.
  • Dentist: Dentists identify potential oral health issues such as gum disease, as well as examine patients, order medical tests and determine the correct diagnosis and treatment. They also perform oral surgery and remove teeth or address other dental health problems.
  • Dermatologist: A dermatologist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions affecting skin, hair, sweat and oil glands, nails, and mucus membranes (inside the mouth, nose, and eyelids) which can include cancer.
  • Emergency Medicine Physician: An emergency medicine physician works in emergency departments, hospitals, and urgent care clinics, and is often the first medical professional that patients see when they are in need of urgent medical care.
  • Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist specializes in diagnosing conditions and diseases related to the glands and hormones. While primary care doctors know a lot about the human body, for conditions and diseases directly related to glands and hormones they will typically send a patient to an endocrinologist.
  • Family Practitioner: A family practitioner specializes in caring for the entire family. Patients can be children, adults, and the elderly, and are treated for a wide array of medical issues.
  • Forensic Pathologist: A forensic pathologist investigates the cause of sudden and unexpected deaths, and is able to determine how a person died by performing an autopsy and studying tissue and laboratory results. These doctors are often called upon to provide evidence in court regarding the cause and time of such deaths.
  • Gastroenterologist: A gastroenterologist has specific training in diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This may include diseases and disorders that affect the the biliary system (liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts), as well as the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon).
  • Geriatrician: A geriatrician specializes in the care of elderly patients, and often works with patients who have multiple chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as age-related cognitive and functional impairments.
  • Gynecologist: A gynecologist specializes in women's reproductive systems. Gynecologists are also sometimes certified as obstetricians, and will monitor the health of the mother and the fetus during a pregnancy.
  • Hematologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders, such as anemia and leukemia.
  • Hospitalist: A hospitalist is a physician whose focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their duties include patient care, teaching, research, and leadership related to hospital medicine.
  • Immunologist: An immunologist specializes in managing problems related to the immune system, such as allergies and autoimmune diseases. A smaller number of immunologists are strictly researchers seeking to better understand how the immune system works and to help develop better ways of diagnosing and providing treatment for many immunological conditions.
  • Infectious Disease Specialist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis.
  • Internist: An internist is a 'doctor of internal medicine' who can diagnose, treat, and practice compassionate care for adults across the spectrum, from health to complex illness. They are not to be mistaken with "interns," who are doctors in their first year of residency training.
  • Medical Examiner: Medical examiners are responsible for performing autopsies and collecting evidence related to the circumstances of a death, including medical history, physical examination findings, and toxicology tests.
  • Naturopathic Physician: A naturopathic physician blends modern scientific medical practice and knowledge with natural and traditional forms of medical treatment. The goal is to treat the underlying causes of disease while stimulating the body's own healing abilities.
  • Nephrologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. They treat conditions such as chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, kidney stones, hypertension, and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Neurologist: A neurologist specializes in treating diseases that affect the human nervous system. It is a very prestigious and difficult medical specialty due to the complexity of the nervous system, which consists of the brain, the spinal cord and the peripheral nerves.
  • Neurosurgeon: A neurosurgeon specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system. This includes congenital anomalies, trauma, tumours, vascular disorders, infections of the brain or spine, stroke, or degenerative diseases of the spine.
  • Obstetrician: An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specializes in caring for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
  • Occupational Physician: Occupational medicine is focused on keeping individuals well at work, both mentally and physically. As workplaces become more complex, occupational physicians play an important role in advising people on how their work can affect their health.
  • Oncologist: An oncologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The three primary types of oncologists are: medical oncologists that specialize in the administration of drugs to kill cancer cells; surgical oncologists that perform surgical procedures to identify and remove cancerous tumors; and radiation oncologists that treat cancer with radiation therapy.
  • Ophthalmologist: An ophthalmologist is a specialist that deals specifically with the structure, function, diseases, and treatment of the eye. Due to the complexities and the importance of the eye as a special sense that provides vision, the discipline of ophthalmology is dedicated solely to this organ.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: An oral and maxillofacial surgeon treats dental and medical problems involving the oral cavity and the maxillofacial area. The maxillofacial area includes the bones of the forehead, face, cheekbones and the soft tissues. Treatment often involves performing surgery and related procedures to treat diseases, defects, or injuries, and to improve function or appearance.
  • Orthodontist: An orthodontist specializes in how the jaws and teeth are aligned. They help people whose teeth are misaligned or require some kind of correction – those with an improper bite, or malocclusion.
  • Orthopedic Surgeon / Orthopedist: An orthopaedic surgeon (or orthopedist) examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. This system includes the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves.
  • Osteopath: Osteopaths have attended and graduated from an osteopathic medical school and practise the system of healthcare known as osteopathy. They consider all aspects of the patient, not just the symptoms they exhibit. They see the integrated nature of the body’s organ systems and its capacity for self-regulation and self-healing.
  • Otolaryngologist: Otolaryngologists (or ENT physicians) are specialists trained in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. These specialists are trained in both medicine and surgery.
  • Pathologist: A pathologist studies the causes, nature, and effects of disease. The field of pathology is broad with concentrations on changes in cells, tissues, and organs that are the result of a disease.
  • Pediatrician: A pediatrician specializes in providing medical care to infants, children and teenagers by administering treatments, therapies, medications and vaccinations to treat illness, disorders or injuries.
  • Periodontist: A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in oral inflammation, and who knows how to prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal disease.
  • Plastic Surgeon: A plastic surgeon specializes in reshaping healthy body parts for aesthetic reasons, and also in repairing or replacing body parts damaged by accidents, illness or malformation.
  • Podiatrist: A podiatrist practices podiatric medicine, which is a branch of science devoted to the diagnosis, treatment and study of medical disorders of the foot, ankle, lower leg and lower back. In the U.S. and Canada, podiatry is practiced as a specialty.
  • Prosthodontist: A prosthodontist specializes in restoring the look, function, comfort, and health of a patient's oral cavity with artificial materials. These artificial materials are made up of a wide variety of restorations that include fillings, dentures, veneers, crowns, bridges and oral implants.
  • Psychiatrist: Psychiatrists are physicians who evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who are affected by a temporary or chronic mental health problem.
  • Pulmonologist: A pulmonologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases of the chest, particularly pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, and complicated chest infections.
  • Radiologist: A radiologist is a specialist in interpreting medical images that may be obtained with x-rays, (CT scans or radiographs), nuclear medicine (involving radioactive substances, magnetism (MRI), or ultrasound.
  • Rheumatologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
  • Sports Medicine Physician: A sports medicine physician specializes in taking care of people who have sports injuries that may be acquired from playing sports, exercising, or from otherwise being physically active.
  • Surgeon: A surgeon performs surgery for the purpose of removing diseased tissue or organs, to repair body systems, or to replace diseased organs with transplants.
  • Telemedicine Physician: A telemedicine physician provides remote healthcare services to patients using telecommunications technology, facilitating virtual consultations, diagnoses, and treatment recommendations.
  • Urologist: A urologist specializes in the treatment of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Urologists can treat the kidneys, urinary bladder, urethra, uterus, and male reproductive organs. There are also specific specialty areas that urologists may choose to focus on, such as pediatric urology, male infertility, and urologic oncology.
  • Vascular Medicine Specialist - A vascular medicine specialist specializes in the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of conditions affecting the blood vessels. They may work with patients who have conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, peripheral artery disease, or pulmonary embolism.
  • Vascular Surgeon - A vascular surgeon specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions affecting the blood vessels, including aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, and varicose veins.
  • Veterinary Dentist - A veterinary dentist is a specialized veterinarian who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental diseases and conditions in animals. They perform dental procedures such as cleanings, extractions, and oral surgeries to improve the oral health and well-being of pets and other animals.


Continue reading

See Also
Doctor Allergist Anesthesiologist Cardiologist Cardiothoracic Surgeon Chiropractor Colorectal Surgeon Dentist Dermatologist Emergency Medicine Physician Endocrinologist Family Practitioner Forensic Pathologist Gastroenterologist Geriatrician Gynecologist Hematologist Hospitalist Immunologist Infectious Disease Specialist Internist Medical Examiner Naturopathic Physician Nephrologist Neurologist Neurosurgeon Obstetrician Occupational Physician Oncologist Ophthalmologist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Orthopedic Surgeon Orthopedist Orthodontist Osteopath Otolaryngologist Pathologist Pediatrician Periodontist Plastic Surgeon Podiatrist Prosthodontist Psychiatrist Pulmonologist Radiologist Rheumatologist Sports Medicine Physician Surgeon Urologist Vascular Surgeon Chiropractic Neurologist Veterinary Dentist Telemedicine Physician

Vascular Medicine Specialists are also known as:
Specialist in Vascular Medicine