Different Health Professionals and Their Functions


There are many types of health professionals, and all of them have different roles and functions to fulfill. However, for those not within the healthcare industry, it can be quite difficult to understand what each type of doctor does. Especially when you’re looking for a specific doctor, it’s easy to feel lost and confused.

General Practitioner First and Foremost

Of course, the best way to find the right doctor for your needs is to have a general practitioner or a GP guide you. They’re often the initial contact for many people, as they are most likely to diagnose illnesses correctly. While they have the capability to treat minor illnesses, often, the resulting situation is that they refer patients to specialists.

Surgeries are normally passed on to specialists, but a GP will normally suggest you visit that specialist in the first place. Most general practitioners end up being family doctors, as it’s a field of industry that’s very much in line with their practice.

To help you understand the different types of doctors that a general practitioner may refer you to, here’s a quick list of different health professionals and why you’re supposed to visit them.

Obstetrician-Gynecologists for Women

Women have a significantly complex biological system that can produce another life- and this very system requires professional treatment should any problems arise. That’s where obstetricians and gynecologists come in. They’re health professionals that are primarily concerned with keeping a woman’s reproductive organs healthy. Pregnant women or even those looking to become pregnant are in need of obstetrician-gynecologist input to make sure that the pregnancy process is smooth and safe.

Ophthalmologists-Optometrist-Optician for Vision Problems

More and more people are suffering from eyesight issues due to the constant staring at monitors through the use of computers and smartphones. The type of doctors that help you combat this issue is called ophthalmologists and optometrists. The former is primarily concerned with examination, diagnoses, and surgeries for eye-related health concerns while the latter focus their craft on examination, diagnosis, and prescription (with no surgical requirement). Opticians, on the other hand, are health professionals responsible for getting you the correct prescription glasses.

Dentists for Troubled Teeth

dentist and patient

Dentists often get negative press due to popular culture’s depiction of oral health professionals, but they’re far from the hideous figures they’re usually made out to be. While teeth are generally their primary focus, they also handle matters related to jaws, gums, and the tongue. Oral health is one of the most critical forms of health- as it can often dictate the level of comfort in our daily life.

There are even medical conditions that exacerbate dental problems, such as diabetes leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Visiting the dentist regularly (which means around every six months or so) is important to keep your overall health.

Pediatrician for Your Kids

Doctors dedicating their practice to helping children are called pediatricians. They are experts in all things related to a child’s development and health, including motor functions such as speaking or mobility and even psychologically related developmental milestones. They’re also the ones parents turn to for their children’s vaccinations and other health concerns. Pediatricians are very helpful, especially for first-time parents, or even ones that are generally concerned about their kids’ health.

Dermatologists for Skin Problems

Whenever you have problems with your skin, an experienced dermatologist is the one you’re looking for. While they’re commonly seen for cosmetic purposes only, they can treat a wide variety of conditions that many people suffer from. Psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, or even skin asthma are among the common health issues they resolve. Skin condition is highly indicative of your internal health as well, so these types of doctors can do and tell more than just what’s skin deep.

Physical Therapist for Mobility Issues

If you’re coming off of a surgery or an accident, or simply want to improve your quality of living, a physical therapist might be someone you’d like to meet. They’re highly and specifically trained medical professionals (often working with a license) that provide mobility training and other types of medical services. They can help recuperating patients regain mobility, and even speed up the recovery process, or rehabilitate injuries. Most doctors or specialists will refer you to a physical therapist should it be in your recovery plan.

A good doctor can significantly improve your health situation. And finding the right one is crucial to your recovery process. Always make sure to coordinate and cooperate with your doctor and you’ll find your road to recovery one that’s considerably easier and faster.