Your top 10 medical professionals
Don’t be overwhelmed when faced with a list of doctors and their specialities. Check out this list of medical professionals and what they do before setting up your first appointment:
1. Family doctor
The family doctor remains the front line of your medical care. He or she provides continuing and comprehensive care for infant through elderly patients, usually acting as the professional who refers you to other specialists on an as-needed basis.
2. Nurse practitioner
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who is also trained to provide many primary healthcare services. While a nurse practitioner doesn’t replace a physician, he or she can handle many tasks typically performed by one.
These physicians specialize in the diseases of internal organs that don’t require surgery. But an internist can also provide primary care needs for teenagers through elderly patients.
If you’ve ever felt a pain in your foot, the specialist you want is a podiatrist. He or she specializes in diseases and injuries of the foot.
A urologist deals with the urinary tract as well as the bladder and kidneys. A urologist is also the doctor men most often go to with reproductive system questions and concerns.
While this specialist is typically referred to by an abbreviation, it really stands for obstetrics/gynecology. This doctor handles health needs specific to women, which includes the female reproductive system. The OB/GYN also provides care for a mother during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
After the OB/GYN, the pediatrician is probably the next doctor a child sees. While the OB/GYN handles the pregnancy and delivery of a child, the pediatrician provides primary care after birth through the teen years.
The neurologist often gets called the “brain doctor.” Neurologists work with the entire nervous system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord, nerves and even muscles.
Orthopedic doctors specialize in the care of the skeletal system, including joints and muscles.
Also known as an ENT, or ear, nose and throat doctor, an otolaryngologist handles diseases and disorders of the ears, nose, throat and related structures of the face, head and neck.
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