A vast majority of us have a family doctor and, if we are lucky enough, they would be the only one tending to us until we are old and grey. However, there are a lot of other types of doctors out there, and you may find the need to look for one kind or another further down the line.
Of course, a doctor is a doctor, but they often get to choose a specialization. While they are knowledgeable in pretty much all fields, having a specialization means that the doctor is the one most equipped to treat a certain type of condition.
Answers can vary depending on who you ask about the different types of doctors out there. Still, it is important to know that choosing the right doctor can definitely spell the difference between successful treatment and a medical condition that may worsen over time.
Here are the most common types of doctors that you can find as well as the time when you should be looking for them for your next consultation.
Family physicians are the most common types of doctors out there. Also known as general practice physicians, family physicians are individuals’ first line of defence against disease. They also aim to promote good health to prevent the onset of medical conditions in the first place.
Those who go for regular checkups visit family physicians. If there are any problems that are found, then he may ask you to get tested or undergo an examination. If the family physician feels that you will be better in the care of others due to any condition, then he may refer you to a specialist.
Internists, or those that practice general internal medicine, are quite similar to family physicians. One main difference, though, is that internists focus on adult cases while family physicians handle patients of all age types.
More often than not, internets go into sub-specializations such as cardiology or gastroenterology. However, they are still able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of diseases outside of their specialty. Most internists can be found in the hospital and would often be called upon to consult on more difficult cases.
Pediatricians specialize in treating children. These can range from usual diseases such as the flu or diarrhea, among other conditions. They are often also in charge of immunizations for children. Pediatricians can be found in most hospitals, although most schools have one on duty or on call.
Some pediatricians, like internists, have specializations such as for those with cancer or heart disease. Some can also perform surgeries or specialize in bones. While other specialists can technically treat these types of conditions, children and adults often have minor differences in anatomy which require more intricate knowledge in the field.
An obstetrician/gynecologist is a doctor that specializes in health issues exclusive to women. These can range from hormonal problems, as well as problems getting pregnant. Oftentimes, they are also called fertility doctors, although they do so much more than that.
An OB/GYN is the type of doctor that is regularly visited by women during pregnancy. They are there each step of the way until delivery of the baby. For those with reproductive problems, are reaching menopause, or even those with STD’s, an obstetrician/gynecologist is the doctor to call.
A psychiatrist is a type of doctor that specializes in treating those with mental disorders. Sometimes, they are consulted to help those with emotional problems as well. Psychiatrists differ from psychologists as psychiatrists often focus on medication rather than psychotherapy, although they are capable of doing that as well.
Psychiatrists can typically handle patients of all ages. However, there are those who handle only children’s cases. On the other hand, there are those that primarily focus on cases involving the elderly.
Dermatologists are those that specialize in skin health and care. They are the ones that patients will be looking for if they have fungal infections or have scars that they want to be removed. Dermatologists are one of the best-paid specialties for doctors, which is why getting a license to practice can be a difficult process.
The reason for this is that dermatologists are highly paid, especially for those who specialize in aesthetic treatments. Dermatologists can also do procedures such as Botox treatments and other cosmetic surgeries and procedures.
Pulmonologists are those that specialize in breathing problems as well as with conditions related to organs that are used for breathing. These include both hearts and lungs. Pulmonologists are called upon whenever breathing problems are encountered, such as in the case of respiratory tract diseases.
Oftentimes, pulmonologists are on standby during critical cases where the patient has trouble breathing. They are often found in ICUs treating those who are in critical condition, especially if breathing problems can lead to cardiac arrest.
Dentists are doctors that focus on oral health. A misconception, though, is that dentists are doctors that handle teeth problems. In fact, dentists also help take care of your gums and, in some cases, can diagnose and treat problems with your tongue or jaw as well.
Aside from cleaning your teeth or making braces, dentists can also whiten your teeth, cure gingivitis and other gum-related conditions, and conduct minor surgery and corrections for aesthetic or health-related purposes.
Other Types of Doctors
Other types of doctors that you can find include:
- Orthopedic Doctors
However, it should be known that there are other types of doctors that are not found on this list. All specializations require some form of training and, in most cases, years of residency before they are able to practice. That is why being a doctor is a very noble profession as it takes a lot of dedication to become one.
There are cases, however, that specializations overlap as multiple organs can affect different conditions within the body. That is why it is important to consult a family physician so that they can point you in the right direction for proper diagnosis and treatment.