Specialist vs Expert
Specialist and expert are two words that we keep on hearing and using very often, and still confuse between their usages. Difference between specialist and expert is subtle and will become clear after reading this article. There are cases where the two words are interchangeable, but then there are times where the use of a wrong word may land you feeling awkward.
For example, do you say that you are going to see a expert cardiologist? No, it is wrong usage and the word used here is specialist. A specialist cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in that field of medicine, and though he is an expert in cardiology, we do not call him an expert and use the word specialist for him. Thus it is clear that we use the word specialist to emphasize the specialized work area in which the said person is an expert.
Look at this example. A cardiologist may be a specialist, but may not be particularly expert in his field. So if a high percentage of patients of a cardiologist do not feel satisfied with him, he is still a specialized though not viewed as an expert by his patients. Thus a specialist may not be expert.
When we use the word expert, we mean that the person has excelled in his chosen field of work or profession. For example, a person may be an expert football player. Here, an expert is also a specialist.
Look at another example. A famous comedian married 6 times and called himself a specialist in marital relations. True, he is specialist in marital relations, but is he an expert? No.
It becomes clear then that one can become a specialist in his chosen field of study or work by passing certifications and getting degrees, but he does not qualify as an expert until he is referred to as such by his clients. Thus specialist is a tangible asset in the form of a certification or degree, while expert is an intangible asset that a person earns by showing or displaying his expertise to his clients.