Areas of Expertise by QME Specialty for MD and DO Physicians Performing QME Evaluations

The information on this page is intended to serve as a reference for the public when choosing QME specialties.  The descriptions summarize the areas of expertise that MD/DO physicians have typically gained through education, experience, and demonstrated competency.

A QME physician certified by the DWC in a particular specialty characteristically has the knowledge to perform QME evaluations that fall within that specialty’s range of expertise. It is important to be aware that individual physicians vary in their specific knowledge, skills, and expertise. 

Certification as a QME affects only the physician’s placement in the pool of QMEs in that particular specialty, but not the ability of the physician to evaluate medical issues that are within his or her scope of practice. The DWC does not regulate other areas of physician practice within the Workers’ Compensation system (e.g., Agreed Medical Evaluator, consultant, or treating physician).

Additional information on physician specialties may be obtained by visiting the websites provided under each specialty. This information available at these websites is not specific to the DWC QME system.

QME specialties are listed below along with the relevant 3-letter code.

Topics covered in this section:
Allergy & Immunology (MAI) Neurology (MPN)
Dermatology (MDE) Neurological surgery (MNS)
Emergency Medicine (MEM) Obstetrics and Gynecology (MOG)
Family Practice (MFP) Occupational Medicine (MPO)
General Preventive Medicine (MPM) Orthopaedic Surgery (MOS)
Hand Surgery (MHH) Otolaryngology
(Ear, Nose, and Throat, or ENT) (MTO)
Internal Medicine (MMM) Pain Medicine (MPA)
Internal Medicine – Cardiovascular Disease (MMV) Pathology (MHA)
Internal Medicine – Endocrinology,
Diabetes & Metablolism (MME)
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (MPR)
Internal Medicine – Gastroenterology (MMG) Psychiatry (MPD)
Internal Medicine – Hematology (MMH) Spine (MNB)
Internal Medicine – Infectious Disease (MMI) Surgery (MSY)
Internal Medicine – Medical Oncology (MMO) Surgery – General Vascular (MSG)
Internal Medicine – Nephrology (MMN) Thoracic Surgery (MTS)
Internal Medicine – Pulmonary Disease (Pulmonology) (MMP) Medical Toxicology (MTT)
Internal Medicine – Rheumatology (MMR) Urology (MUU)

Allergy & Immunology (MAI)

An allergist / immunologist (commonly referred to as an allergist) is a physician specially trained to diagnose, treat and manage allergies, asthma and immune system diseases including primary immunodeficiency disorders. These conditions range from the very common to the very rare, spanning all ages and encompassing various organ systems.

For more information, visit the American Academy of Allergy Asthma& Immunology website.

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Dermatology (MDE)

Dermatology involves the evaluation and management of patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, hair, nails and adjacent mucous membranes. A dermatologist has had training and experience in the following:

  • The diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, melanomas, moles, and other tumors of the skin
  • The management of contact dermatitis and other inflammatory skin disorders
  • The recognition of systemic and infectious diseases that manifest on skin
  • Dermatopathology, the microscopic diagnosis of diseases of the skin
  • Surgical techniques used in dermatology
  • The management of cosmetic disorders of the skin, including hair loss, scars, and the skin changes associated with aging.

For more information, visit the American Board of Dermatology website.

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Emergency Medicine (MEM)

Emergency medicine is the specialty concerned with the stabilization, management, diagnosis, and disposition of individuals with acute illness and injury. It also includes the management of trauma resuscitation, advanced cardiac life support, advanced airway management, poisonings, pre-hospital care and disaster preparedness. Emergency medicine encompasses a large amount of general medicine but involves the technical and cognitive aspects of virtually all fields of medicine and surgery including the surgical sub-specialties.

Emergency medicine physicians have a broad knowledge base and possess the skills of many specialists and have the ability to:

  • Manage a difficult airway (Anesthesia)
  • Suture a complex laceration (Plastic Surgery)
  • Reduce a fractured bone or dislocated joint (Orthopedic Surgery)
  • Treat a heart attack (Internal Medicine)
  • Delivery a baby (Obstetrics and Gynecology)
  • Stop a bad nosebleed (ENT)
  • Manage suicide attempts and complex overdoses (Psychiatry & Toxicology)
  • Tap a septic joint (Rheumatology)
  • Protect an abused child (Pediatrics)
  • Place a chest tube (Cardiothoracic Surgery).

For more information, visit the American Board of Emergency Medicine website.

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Family Practice (MFP)

A family practice physician has been trained in:

  • Providing continuing, comprehensive health care.
  • A specialty in breadth that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences.

The scope of family practice medicine encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system and every disease entity.

For more information, visit the American Board of Family Medicine website.Back to top

General Preventive Medicine (MPM)

General preventive medicine focuses on:

  • The health of individuals and defined populations to protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and prevent disease, disability, and premature death
  • Control and prevention of occupational and environmental factors that may adversely affect health
  • Clinical preventive medicine activities, including measures to promote health and prevent the occurrence, progression, and disabling effects of disease and injury
  • Assessment of social, cultural, and behavioral influences on health.

For more information, visit the The American Board of Preventive Medicine.

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Hand Surgery (MHH)

Hand surgeons focus on surgical and non-surgical assessment of problems of the hand, wrist, and forearm. Many hand surgeons are also experts in diagnosing and caring for shoulder and elbow problems.
Hand surgeons are orthopaedic, plastic, or general surgeons who have additional training in surgery of the hand. Because many hand surgeons devote most of their time to examining, treating and studying the hand, they are specialists in hand care, including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Wrist pain
  • Cuts on the fingers and hand
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Contractures
  • Amputations/Creating fingers from toes and other joints
  • Vascular injuries
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics

For more information, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website.

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Internal Medicine (MMM)

Internal medicine physicians, or internists, specialize in adult health care. They spend at least three years of medical training learning how to prevent, find and treat illness in adults. Internists have a broad knowledge base and possess the skills of many internal medicine specialists. They care for any adult sickness, including those involving:

  • Blood (Hematology)
  • Cancer (Oncology)
  • Diabetes (Endocrinology)
  • Digestion (Gastrointestinal)
  • Heart and blood vessels (Cardiovascular Disease)
  • Hormones (Endocrinology)
  • Infections (Infectious Disease)
  • Kidneys (Renal)
  • Liver (Gastrointestinal)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Rheumatology)

Internists take care of people from their teen years through old age and manage their care even when other doctors are involved.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Cardiovascular Disease (MMV)

Cardiovascular disease, or cardiology, is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the heart, blood vessels and circulation system in adult patients.

Cardiology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the functioning of the heart, blood vessels and circulation of blood throughout the body. It may also encompass evaluation of the lungs.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metablolism (MME)

Endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism (endocrinology) is the subspecialty of internal medicine that specializes in conditions specific to the endocrine system and major endocrine glands, including the pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroids, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries, and testes. Endocrinologists provide treatment for a wide range of functions and disorders of the human body - diabetes, thyroid disorders, infertility, metabolism, glandular cancers, growth hormone deficiency, genetic dysfunction, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity and hormonal imbalances. The skills of an endocrinologist are necessary for complicated disorders, such as uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid cancer, pituitary dysfunction, familial endocrine and auto-immune disease.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Gastroenterology  (MMG)

Gastroenterology is the subspecialty of internal medicine involving the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts) and liver. It includes common and important conditions such as colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis. In essence, all normal activity and disease of the digestive organs are part of the field of Gastroenterology.

For more information, visit the American College of Gastroenterology website

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Internal Medicine – Hematology (MMH)

Hematology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with disorders of the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic systems. These include disorders of red and white blood cells and platelets, bone marrow failure, such as aplastic anemia, abnormal clotting and bleeding, Hodgkin's disease and blood malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, hairy cell leukemia and related problems. Hematologists coordinate total patient care, working, where needed, with surgeons, radiation therapists, gynecologists or other specialists. Treatments may include therapeutic phlebotomy, bone marrow aspiration, core bone marrow biopsy, and chemotherapy or other special therapy.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Infectious Disease (MMI)

Infectious disease is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Infectious disease specialists have expertise in infections of the sinuses, heart, brain, lungs, urinary tract, bowel, bones and pelvic organs. Their extensive training focuses on all kinds of infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Many infectious disease physicians specialize in treating patients with infections due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Infectious disease specialists have specialized knowledge about the use of antibiotics and their potential adverse effects. They also have additional training in immunology (how the body fights infection), epidemiology (how infections spread) and infection control.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Medical Oncology (MMO)

Medical oncology is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and management of cancer. Medical oncologists are broadly trained in all areas of treating cancer. Some medical oncologists also further specialize in specific types of cancer, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, or lymphoma.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Nephrology (MMN)

Nephrology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with kidney diseases.

Nephrologists diagnose and treat kidney diseases, including both the conditions these diseases can produce -- such as hypertension -- as well as diseases that can cause kidney failure -- such as diabetes mellitus and polycystic kidney disease. Nephrologists evaluate patients in cases of protein or blood found in the urine, severe high blood pressure, kidney stones, renal insufficiency or kidney failure.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Pulmonary Disease (Pulmonology) (MMP)

Pulmonology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with diseases of the lungs and bronchial tubes, which often involves evaluation of the upper respiratory tract (nose, pharynx and throat) as well as the heart.

Pulmonologists are specially trained in diseases and conditions of the chest, such as pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, or complicated chest infections. Pulmonologists have expertise in complex pulmonary problems, such as emphysema, tuberculosis, asthma, complicated infections of the chest, the pulmonary complications of AIDS, injury, and complications of respiratory diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Internal Medicine – Rheumatology (MMR)

Rheumatology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with joints, muscles and bones and their roles in health and disease.

Rheumatologists study conditions specific to the musculoskeletal system - arthritis, certain autoimmune diseases, pain disorders and osteoporosis. Rheumatologists are specially trained to do the detective work necessary to discover the cause of swelling and pain. This may include diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia or tendonitis.

For more information, visit the American College of Physicians website.

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Neurology (MPN)

Neurologists diagnose and manage disorders of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) and muscles. These disorders include:

  • Stroke
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Headache and other pain
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Parkinson disease
  • Alzheimer disease and other memory disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Effects of systemic diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes, on the nervous system

For more information, visit the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology website.

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Neurological surgery (MNS)

A neurological surgeon specializes in operative and non-operative management (prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, critical care, and rehabilitation) of patients with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, and peripheral nerves, including their support structures and blood supply. They also evaluate and manage disorders that affect the function of the nervous system and the operative and non-operative management of certain types of pain. Common conditions managed by neurologic surgeons include disorders of the brain, meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord), skull, spinal cord, and vertebral column. This also includes the carotid and vertebral arteries, the pituitary gland, spinal fusion or instrumentation, and disorders of the cranial and spinal nerves. Pediatric neurosurgeons manage children with head injuries, brain and spinal tumors, vascular malformation, seizures disorders, and hydrocephalus.

For more information, visit the American College of Surgeons websiteBack to top

Obstetrics and Gynecology (MOG)

Obstetrician/gynecologists have specialized knowledge of medical and surgical care of the female patient, with a focus on the female reproductive system. This includes surgical procedures, managing the care of pregnant women, delivering babies, and rendering gynecologic care, oncology care, and primary health care for women.

For more information, visit the American College of Surgeons website.

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Occupational Medicine (MPO)

Occupational medicine physicians have knowledge in a number of clinical areas and expertise in a wide variety of disciplines. Occupational medicine focuses on comprehensively preventing and managing illness and injury among workers. An occupational medicine physician typically has expertise in:

  • The harmful effects of chemicals, metals, gases, and pesticides) and other workplace hazards, such as radiation and noise (Toxicology)
  • Fitting the job to a person (Ergonomics)
  • Musculoskeletal injuries including back, neck, and extremities
  • Hearing loss
  • Disorders of the lung, such as asbestosis, silicosis, and work-related asthma (Pulmonary)
  • Work-related cancers (Oncology)
  • Infectious diseases in the workplace, including blood borne pathogen exposures and tuberculosis
  • Preventing illness and promoting wellness (Preventive Medicine)

For more information, visit the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine website.

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Orthopaedic Surgery (MOS)

Orthopaedics is the broad based medical and surgical specialty dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. The frequency and impact of these diseases and injures combined with recent advances in their diagnosis and treatment make orthopaedics a critical part of health care. Areas of orthopaedic surgery include:

  • Sports Medicine. Care of injuries related to athletic activities.
  • Joint Replacement and Surgery in Arthritis. Care of patients with advanced arthritis including medical treatment, joint replacement and other procedures.
  • Foot and Ankle. Care of patients with injury and diseases of the foot and ankle.
  • Shoulder and Elbows. Care of diseases and injuries of the shoulder and elbow.
  • Trauma and Fractures. Treatment of injuries to the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, nerves and vessels of the arms, legs, back and neck.
  • Musculoskeletal Oncology. Treatment of benign and malignant tumors of bones, joints and muscles.
  • Rehabilitation. Short and long-term programs to improve strength and mobility and optimize recovery.
  • Arthroscopy and Arthroscopic Surgery. Diagnosis and treatment of joint diseases and injuries using arthroscopic methods.

For more information, visit the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery website.

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Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat, or ENT) (MTO)

Otolaryngology or ENT surgery focuses on the comprehensive medical and surgical care of patients with diseases and disorders that affect the ears, the respiratory and upper alimentary systems and related structures of the head and neck. This includes:

  • Knowledge of audiology and speech-language pathology; the chemical senses and allergy/immunology, endocrinology and neurology as they relate to the head and neck;
  • Medical and/or surgical therapy or prevention for diseases, neoplasms, deformities, disorders and/or injuries of the ears, the respiratory and upper alimentary systems, the face, jaws, and the other head and neck systems. Head and neck oncology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery are fundamental areas of expertise.

For more information, visit the American Board of Otolaryngology website.

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Pain Medicine (MPA)

Pain medicine specialists may include anesthesiologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, neurologists, and psychiatrists. The specialty of pain medicine is a discipline within the field of medicine that is concerned with the prevention of pain, and the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons in pain. Some conditions may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be conditions in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as neuropathic pains or headaches.

Pain medicine specialists typically formulate comprehensive treatment plans, which consider the patients' cultural contexts, as well as the special needs of the pediatric and geriatric populations. Evaluation techniques include interpretation of historical data; review of previous laboratory, imaging, and electrodiagnostic studies; assessment of behavioral, social, occupational, and avocational issues; and interview and examination of the patient by the pain specialist.

For more information, visit the American Board of Pain Medicine website.

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Pathology (MHA)

Pathologists diagnose diseases by studying biologic specimens and ensure laboratory quality and public health. They are responsible for the interpretation and diagnostic accuracy of laboratory  tests.

For more information, visit the College of American Pathologists website.

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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (MPR)

Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), also referred to as physiatry, is a medical specialty concerned with diagnosis, evaluation, and management of persons of all ages with physical and/or cognitive impairment and disability. This specialty involves diagnosis and treatment of patients with painful or functionally limiting conditions, the management of comorbidities and co-impairments, diagnostic and therapeutic injection procedures, electrodiagnostic medicine, and emphasis on prevention of complications of disability from secondary conditions.

PM&R specialists are trained in the rehabilitation of neurologic disorders, and in the diagnosis and management of impairments of the musculoskeletal (including sports and occupational aspects) and other organ systems, and the long-term management of patients with disabling conditions. PM&R specialists provide focus on maximal restoration or development of physical, psychological, social, occupational and vocational functions in persons whose abilities have been limited by disease, trauma, congenital disorders or pain to enable people to achieve their maximum functional abilities.

For more information, visit the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation website.

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Psychiatry (MPD)

A psychiatrist has specialized skills and knowledge to diagnose and manage problems ranging from emergencies to the long-term medical management of psychiatric disorders.
Psychiatrists have expertise in disorders such as:

  • Adjustment reactions
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Psychoses
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Substance-abuse disorders

Psychiatrists can order diagnostic laboratory tests, prescribe medications, provide psychotherapy, evaluate and treat psychological and interpersonal problems, and give continuing care for psychiatric problems.
Psychiatrists may intervene with individuals and families who are experiencing a crisis or dealing with great stress. Psychiatrists may also act as consultants to primary care physicians, or to non-physicians such as psychologists, social workers and nurses.

For more information, visit the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology website.

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Spine (MNB)

A spine surgeon is an orthopaedic or neurological surgeon whose subspecialty is in the field of spine surgery. A spine surgeon specializes in the restoration and preservation of spine function by managing disorders of the spine with both non-operative and complex surgical procedures of the spine, including but not limited to instrumentation, deformity correction and advanced minimally invasive techniques.

For more information, visit the American Board of Spine Surgery website.

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Surgery (MSY)

General surgery involves the diagnosis and surgical treatment of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the abdomen, digestive tract, endocrine system, breast, skin and blood vessels. A general surgeon is also trained in the treatment of patients who are injured or critically ill, and in the care of pediatric and cancer patients. General surgeons are skilled in the use of minimally invasive techniques and endoscopies.

Common conditions treated by general surgeons include hernias, gallstones, appendicitis, breast tumors, thyroid disorders, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions, colon inflammation, and colon cancer. Some general surgeons pursue additional training and specialize in the fields of pediatric surgery, surgical oncology, vascular surgery, trauma surgery, hospice and palliative medicine, transplant surgery, and others.

For more information, visit the American Board of Surgery website.

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Surgery – General Vascular (MSG)

Vascular surgery involves the diagnosis and management of patients with disorders of the arterial, venous and lymphatic systems, excluding vessels of the brain and the heart. Vascular surgeons have significant experience in providing comprehensive care to patients with all types of vascular disease, including diagnosis, medical treatment and reconstructive vascular surgical techniques.

Common interventions performed by vascular surgeons include the opening of blocked arteries, repair of veins to improve circulation, treatment of aneurysms (bulges) in the aorta and other blood vessels, and treatment of vascular injuries.

For more information, visit the American Board of Surgery website.

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Thoracic Surgery (MTS)

Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients with acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest. Included are the surgical repair of congenital and acquired conditions of the heart, including the heart, coronary arteries, valves, and great vessels.

Thoracic surgery includes management of airway and injuries to the chest and pathologic conditions of the lung, esophagus and chest wall, and tumors and other diseases of the chest.

For more information, visit the American Board of Thoracic Surgery website.

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Medical Toxicology (MTT)

Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on people, animals, and the environment. Toxicologists are scientists trained to investigate, interpret, and communicate the nature of those effects. Medical toxicologists may have expertise in preventive medicine, emergency medicine, or pediatrics.

For more information, visit the Society of Toxicology website.

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Urology (MUU)

Urology involves the management of diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system. This can include diseases affecting the bladder, urethra, ureters, kidneys, and adrenal glands, along with the epididymis, penis, prostate, seminal vesicles and testes specifically in men.

For more information, visit the American Urological Society website.

July 2015