Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) consists of many aspects. Five elements is one aspect of the whole theory of TCM. As in Western medicine some people branch off into specific areas (ie. Gyneocology, pediatrics, cardiology etc.)
In fact the branches of TCM are the same choices as in Western medicine. Therefore practitioners concentrate on the same areas, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology etc.
The five elements is a particular style of diagnosis and treatment based on the basic knowledge of TCM.
In the doctoral programs five elements theory is taught. Not all practitioners use this all the time and on the flip side some only use the section of the medical theory. Often it’s used to treat mental and emotional circumstances.