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What Kind of Doctor Do I Need?

by Cindy Schmidler

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What Kind of Doctor Do I Need?

Some health insurance plans allow you to refer yourself to a doctor—that is, if you know what is wrong, you can go see a medical specialist without having to be referred by your regular doctor. In other plans, you have to be referred to a specialist by your primary care physician (regular doctor). If you are trying to figure out what kind of doctor you need for your health problem or symptoms you’re having, then this list will help you out. It tells you what kind of doctor treats what. Then you can find the name of a specialist by calling your local hospital, asking friends or family if they know a good doctor, or asking your primary care doctor to recommend someone.

What Kind of Doctor Do I Need?

One tip I learned a long time ago about finding a good doctor—ask a nurse. Nurses know the best doctors! In general there are two categories of doctors, those that practice medicine and those that do surgery—some do both. If you are seeking the help of a doctor, either a general medical doctor, a specialist, or a surgeon, the following medical specialty list will help you with what type doctor you need. These specialists may be MDs (medical doctors) or DOs (doctors of osteopathy). The following list is for medical doctors, if you need more information about surgery and surgeons see: What Kind of Surgeon Do I Need?

Allergist/Immunologist

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Anesthesiologist

Cardiologist

(Best Hospitals for Cardiology)

Dermatologist

Emergency Medicine

Endocrinologist

(Best Hospitals for Endocrinology)

Family Practitioner

Gastroenterologist

(Best Hospitals for Gastroenterology)

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Gastrointestinal tract tests, such as endoscopy (looking for tumors, bleeding, ulcers and cancer) and colonoscopy (looking for tumors, polyps, inflammation, bleeding, ulcers and cancer in the colon) are preformed or interpreted by a gastroenterologist.American College of Gastroenterology

Geriatrician

Gynecologist/Obstetrician

(Best hospitals for Gynecology)

Hematologist/Oncologist

(Best hospitals for Cancer)

Hospitalist

Infectious Disease Specialist

Internist

Nephrologist

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Neurologist

(Best Hospitals for Neurology)

Ophthalmologist/Optometrist

(Best Hospitals for Opthalmology)

Orthopedist

(Best Hospitals for Orthopedics)

Otolaryngologist

(Best Hospitals for Otolaryngology)

Pain Management Specialist

Pediatrician

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Podiatrist

Psychiatrist

(Best Hospitals for Psychiatry)

Psychologist

Pulmonologist

Radiologist

Radiation Oncologist

Rheumatologist

(Best Hospitals for Rheumatology)

Urologist

(Best Hospitals for Urology)

Surgeon

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