What are the different types of medical specialists called in Spanish?

You may already know that the Spanish word for doctor is either ‘médico’ or ‘doctor/a’, that a nurse is an ‘enfermero/a’ and that a receptionist is a ‘recepcionista’, but what about all the other medical specialists?

medical professions spanish
Do you know what a podólogo or logopeda mean in Spanish? (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP)

Because of their common Latin root in both English and Spanish, most medical titles can be easily recognised by anglophones learning Spanish. Not all of them, however.

Here we’ll go over some of the medical specialties and how to call them in Spanish. 

A couple of pointers before we start. Remember that the syllable that has the accent on the vowel is the one you stress in Spanish. 

Also, in Spanish a “g” followed by an a,o or u is pronounced like “gh” sound like ghost or get, but a “g” followed by e or i is pronounced with a “ha” sound like hat or head.

And as most Spanish professions differentiate the person’s gender, the masculine article is “el” and the noun usually ends in “o” and the feminine article is “la” and most often ends in “a”.  There are some exceptions such as médico (doctor) where the article changes but the noun always ends in “o”.

Here is a list of the majority of medical specialists and helath professionals and how they are referred to in Spain.

Surgeon: el cirujano, la cirujana. Depending on the type of surgeon it can be cirujano cardiovascular, pediátrico etc or in the case of a neurosurgeon it’s a neurocirujano/a. 

Anaethetist (anaesthesia): el anestesiólogo, la anestesióloga


Cardiologist (heart): el cardiólogo, la cardióloga 

Dental surgeon: el odontólogo/la odontóloga

Dermatologist (skin): el dermatólogo,la dermatóloga 

Endocrinologist (hormones): el endocrinólogo, la endocrinóloga

Gastroenterologist (stomach): el gastroenterólogo, la gastroenterólogo. Most people instead el/la médico digestivo

Gynaecologist (female reproductive system): el ginecólogo, la ginecóloga

Occupational therapist: el terapeuta ocupacional, la terapeuta ocupacional 

Ophthalmologist (eyes): el oftalmólogo, la oftalmóloga 

Oncologist (cancer): el oncólogo , la oncóloga 

Orthopaedist (musculoskeletal): el ortopedista, la ortopedista 

Orthopaedic surgeon: el traumatólogo,la traumatóloga

Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat – ENT): el otorrinolaringólogo , la otorrinolaringóloga. Often shortened to el/la otorrino.

Paediatrician (children): el pediatra, la pediatra

Podiatrist or chiropodist (feet): el podólogo, la podóloga

Physiotherapist (injury, illness or disability therapy): el fisioterapeuta, la fisioterapeuta. Often shortened to el/la fisio.


Psychologist (mental health): el (p)sicólogo, la (p)sicóloga 

Psychiatrist (mental health): el psiquiatra  , la psiquiatra 

Pulmonologist (lungs): el neumólogo, la neumóloga

Radiologist (X-rays, MRI, CT): el radiólogo, la radióloga 

Rheumatologist (arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones): el reumatólogo  , la reumatóloga

Speech therapist: el logopeda, la logopeda

Urologist (urinary system): el urólogo, la uróloga


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Spanish Word of the Day: Guerra

As Russia begins its illegal invasion of Ukraine, we look at the Spanish word for war and all its different uses in Spanish. 

Spanish Word of the Day: Guerra

Guerra, pronounced with the quintessentially strong rolling R and without uttering the U, is the Spanish word for war or warfare. 

It’s actually of Germanic origin – from the old word werra – meaning disorder or fight (bellum is the word in Latin for war).


La guerra acaba de empezar.

The war has just started.


Yo no quiero ir a la guerra.

I don’t want to go to war.

Guerra can be used to name an armed conflict but also other situations such guerra de sexos (battle of the sexes), guerra de precios (price war), guerra psicológica (psychological warfare), consejo de guerra (court-martial), banda de guerra (military band).

The expression ‘a war to the death’ is una guerra sin cuartel, a battle cry is un grito de guerra, and if someone describes something as de antes de la guerra (from before the war) it means it’s ancient or outdated.

Interestingly, the word for warlike or relating to war in Spanish is bélico.


Ha sido un conflicto bélico muy sangriento.

It’s been a very bloody military conflict.


Me gusta mucho el cine bélico.

I really like war films.

There are also some useful expressions with guerra in Spanish, such as dar guerra (to be a handful or cause trouble) or querer guerra (to look for a fight or to be on the prowl).


El niño está dando guerra, si no le doy su juguete se pone a llorar.

The boy is being a handful, if I don’t give him his toy he starts crying. 


Ese tío quiere guerra. No deja de insultar a la gente.

That guy is looking for trouble. He won’t stop insulting people.

There are more uses of guerra in Spanish but we leave you with a slogan you’ve probably heard before which Spaniards have of course translated: Haz el amor, no la guerra (make love, not war).