Nuclear medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with diagnosing and treating different diseases using radiation. The word "nuclear" comes from the fact that these radiations are emitted by nuclei of certain atoms.

What does a nuclear medicine physician do?

A nuclear medicine physician takes care of both diagnosing and treating diseases by using radiolabeled substances containing radioactive atoms.
Once introduced into the body, these substances are displayed by detecting the radiation emitted by them. This allows to study the structure or function of the organs and tissues. In the case of so-called radiopharmaceuticals, however, the radioactive substances tend to concentrate in the tissues affected by a disorder such as a tumor, and are used to destroy the diseased cells as selectively as possible.

What diseases are treated by a nuclear medicine physician?

The diseases that can be treated by a nuclear medicine physician are numerous. These diseases can be of oncological nature, neurological, nephro-urological, pneumological, orthopedic problems, cardiovascular disorders, or pertaining to the gastrointestinal tract.
In particular the disease can include neuroendocrine tumors, Alzheimer's, breast cancer, prostate cancer, implant complications of joint replacement, bone metastases, focal epilepsies, hyperparathyroidism, hypertension, and hyperthyroidism. Other diseases include NHLs, coronary heart disease, cutaneous melanoma, thyroid nodules, Parkinson's, liver tumors, differentiated thyroid cancer, adrenal tumors, and obstructive uropathy. 

What procedures are used by a nuclear medicine physician?

Among the procedures most used by a nuclear medicine physician are scintigraphy, radionuclide cystogram, lymphoscintigraphy, mammoscintigraphy, bone mineral density (BMD), Pet scan, search for ectopic gastric mucosa, and radionuclide studies of esophageal transit. 

When should a patient visit a nuclear medicine physician?

Typically patients are referred to a nuclear physician from another doctor who is treating the patient and needs further diagnostic tests.