We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Medical Services?

By S. Zaimov
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are many different types of medical services, and a lot of the delineation depends on locality and what’s available where. In general, though, services can be broken down into six main categories. Emergency services are what people seek in times of crisis, and are often the first line of patient care when it comes to injuries sustained through accident or trauma. Outpatient care deals with known conditions, and sometimes includes minor surgical procedures; preventative medicine is usually made up of primary care doctors who provide check-ups and referrals for patients who are otherwise healthy. Specialized services deal with specific conditions, like pregnancy and cancer treatment, or specific parts of the body, like the gastrointestinal system or the brain. Finally, hospice and palliative care cover the end of life and dying. In most systems there are also a range of administrative services, including billing and transcription.

Emergency Services

Emergency services, often in the form of an ambulance with trained health care technicians, are usually dispatched to help people who need urgent care, such as people who have suffered a stroke or have been in a car crash. Additionally, teams of emergency physicians are usually stationed at hospitals or other medical centers to treat critically ill or injured patients upon arrival. Depending on the distance between the hospital and the person in need, emergency medical services may require the use of helicopters or boats for transporting sick people. These services are designed to provide immediate medical help to victims and to transport them to doctors as quickly as possible.

The emergency department of a hospital usually provides urgent treatment to patients with immediate medical needs, like those with serious or life-threatening conditions. People with the most severe injuries or illnesses are commonly treated first. These patients may require emergency surgery or hospitalization, but in some cases can be released after treatment. Most emergency departments operate day and night because of the critical nature of the services provided.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient services are medical treatments, procedures, or check-ups that take place at a doctor's private office, a clinic, or a hospital. These usually include a visit or consultation with a physician in order to discuss a patient's health. A person can also sometimes undergo minor surgery and be sent home on the same day. Such surgery can include suturing a wound, removing moles and warts, or treating varicose veins. Outpatient surgery is usually less costly than that which requires a hospital stay, and also allows patients to recover at home.

If a person is suffering from an injury or illness that prevents travel, a physician may make a home visit, also known as a “house call.” In a case like this, a doctor typically examines the patient and may administer medication or provide another type of treatment. Nurses or other healthcare professionals may also visit patients at home to monitor symptoms or progress.

Preventative Medicine

Preventative care is often the most commonly utilized service under any system. The main idea here is to catch medical issues and diseases before they become really serious, usually through regular “well patient” visits — which is to say, check-ups and routine doctor visits even when nothing seems to be wrong. General practitioners (GPs) are the most common administrators of this sort of medicine, but some specialists provide routine check-ups, too.


When people talk about medical “specialties,” they usually mean fields of medicine that are focused on specific parts of the body or on certain discreet conditions. There are usually services that correspond to the work of each sort of specialist. Women who are pregnant usually seek out services specific to childbirth and delivery, for instance, whereas those who have been injured often look for physical therapists or reconstructive surgeons who can help them get back to life as usual. Some services deal with procedures like hip replacements, or with broad categories of treatment like heart surgery.

Hospice and Palliative Care

There is a special class of medical services for people have been diagnosed with terminal conditions and who are, at least from a medical standpoint, nearing the end of their lives. Palliative and hospice care provide for people in these situations. Most of these are residential medical facilities where the sick and dying can be provided with round-the-clock care while being surrounded by loved ones.

Administrative Branches

Not all medical services revolve around direct patient care. A lot of administrative work goes on in the background, particularly where billing and record keeping is concerned. Broadly speaking, medical billing is the record of a patient’s healthcare expenses for the treatment he or she received. It is the responsibility of a professional medical biller to determine the amount of money needed to reimburse the physician or hospital for services rendered, and usually also to “code” treatments and procedures in order to ensure both uniformity and accuracy. The methods of payment can vary, and sometimes depend on the type of insurance a patient has, if any.

Medical transcription is another type of service that happens outside of patient care. This process generally involves converting a doctor's voice recordings and audio patient records into text format. Medical transcriptionists (MTs), who may be hospital employees or independent contractors, typically listen to recordings and type the information into a computer database. Medical transcripts allow physicians to easily access a patient’s health record and ensure proper care.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By adamsmith111 — On Aug 02, 2011

Medical transcription services are becoming a part of a doctor's life to transcribe files like .wav, .wma, .pdf and others.

By Bhutan — On Aug 02, 2010

Sneakers41- My dentist also does the same thing. He offers a 12 month financing option was no interest for filings and anything over $500.

I also wanted to say that one of the most important medical assistance services available are Medicaid and Medicare.

Medicaid offers financial assistance to families who are in need financially.

Medicare is a form of subsidized health care insurance for the elderly. For example if an elderly patient needed hip replacement surgery and had to have follow up treatment at a rehabilitation center, Medicare would pay 100% of the premium at the rehab facility for the first 20 days.

If the patient needs help beyond the 20 days, then Medicare pays 80% of the premium.

By sneakers41 — On Aug 02, 2010

Dental offices also provide medical dental services. For example you can receive teeth cleaning, a tooth extraction or even a root canal. You may even have oral surgery at the dentist office as well.

Most medical insurance services cover dental office visits but usually only pays about 50% to 70% of the bill. If a patient is having surgery or more has been extensive dental bill often the dentist offers a special medical service billing program for this patient.

It may be a no interest financing option, or the financing may require interest payments but will extend the life of the loan to several years.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.