Types of Medical Professionals You Should Visit: A Comprehensive Guide
March 24th, 2021 by Emily Stuart
Throughout our lives, there are many times where we may have to see a medical professional. As much as we may not like it, they play an essential part in our mental and physical well-being. These skilled and trained individuals help us in different ways and ensure that we can live the longest life possible. However, you may be asking, “How do I know who to see?” and “How can they help me?”.
Well, in this article, we are going to take a look at ten types of medical professionals that you may need to visit at some point in your life. Want to learn more? Then keep on reading.
Primary Care Doctor
Primary care doctors are those that practice general medicine. They are the people that give routine check-ups, treat non-emergencies, and give out necessary prescriptions. They also may recommend you to other more specialized doctors if they find you have a particular medical condition. If you are over the age of 35, you should visit them every year so that you can make sure you are in good health.
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Optometrists specialize in diagnosing specific eye and vision problems. They prescribe glasses, contact lenses and provide advice on general eye care. It is recommended that you see them every two years unless you have previous concerns. In some cases, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist that are trained and licensed to prescribe medicine and complete eye surgery.
If you have a condition that involves your skin, hair, and nails, it is treated and diagnosed by a dermatologist. While many think that their primary role is to assist with getting rid of acne, they actually complete a variety of different tasks. Some of these include doing skin biopsies, removing skin cancer, and other cosmetic treatments. You should book an appointment if you notice any unusual changes to your skin.
Dentists are the individuals who look after our teeth and mouth. Alongside helping you achieve a better smile with cosmetic procedures, they can also assist with other conditions that may be causing you pain. This could include cavities, decay, misaligned and impacted teeth. It is best if you see them every six months to get a professional clean.
If you will be getting braces or some other type of jaw corrector, you will often be referred to an orthodontist.
ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Doctor
An ENT, also known as an ear, nose, and throat doctor, assists with diseases and disorders that affect those three areas. Some of the things they may treat include:
- Hearing loss, ear ringing, ear infections
- Snoring, sinus infections, deviated septum
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, sore throat, vocal cord disorders
- Sleep apnoea, snoring, airway obstruction
- Facial reconstructive surgery
If you experience any of the above, it’s important to visit them ASAP so that they can get on top of things before anything gets worse. Some of them may be symptoms of an underlying condition.
Physical therapists assist people who have certain medical conditions or injuries that limit their movement. They generally work alongside other doctors to increase mobility and manage pain. Arthritis, joint injuries, cystic fibrosis, osteoporosis, sports injuries, and post-operative rehabilitation are just a few of the different areas they can cover.
The role of a pharmacy technician is to supply medicine and prescriptions to patients and customers. They ensure that dosage is correct and answer general inquiries about over-the-counter medication. If you have a condition that does not require going to the hospital or doctors but still needs treatment, they can often be of assistance. However, it is important to remember that they are not trained like experienced doctors and will generally recommend that you visit them if your condition worsens.
Psychologists and psychiatrists assist with the treatment of mental health problems. They analyze behavior and perform psychotherapy, but the difference between them is that a psychiatrist can also prescribe medication. Some of the conditions they may help diagnose and treat include:
- Depression – Constant feeling of sadness and or loss of interest in life activities. It can be brief or last for long periods of time.
- Bipolar Disorder – Shifts in an individual’s mood that range from extreme highs and extreme lows.
- Eating Disorders – Includes things like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and pica.
- Addiction – Chronic relapsing disorder where people continue the behaviour despite the consequences.
- Schizophrenia – Causes delusions, hallucinations and inhibits the perception of reality.
- Dementia – Causes loss of memory and impairs the ability to think and make rational decisions.
In the US, more than 50 million Americans experience some type of allergy. The role of an allergist is to diagnose them and provide treatment options. In order to do this, they often run a few different tests, including a patch test, blood test, and nasal smear. They then will offer advice on how to manage it. In severe cases, an epi-pen may need to be carried, but some simple allergy medication may do the trick with minor ones.
Gynecologists specialize in women’s health, including the reproductive and urological systems. They assist in treating fertility and menstruation issues alongside STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and pregnancy/childbirth complications. After the age of 18, it is recommended that they are visited yearly for an annual screening to rule out any conditions, some of which include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Ovarian cysts
- Cervical dysplasia
- Congenital abnormalities
Doctor and medical visits may be stressful for some, but they are an essential part of life that shouldn’t be neglected. By attending annual screenings and getting checked when you feel something is off, you could be saving your own life. So make sure you get out there and book your appointment if you haven’t done so already. Even if it ends up being nothing, you can never be too careful.