Your primary care doctor can take care of most medical problems. But there are times when you may need to see a specialist.
What is a specialist?
A specialist is someone who has more training with a specific health problem.
What does a specialist do?
Let’s say you’re having sleep problems. Your doctor may send you to a sleep specialist. Your specialist will dig deeper into why you’re not sleeping well. Sometimes, this can include ordering lab tests or a sleep study to learn more.
What kind of specialists are there?
There are more than 135 medical specialties. Specialists include:
- Cardiologist (heart)
- Dermatologist (skin)
- Dietitian (help with healthy eating)
- Endocrinologist (for blood sugar problems)
- Gynecologist (women’s health)
- Nephrologist (kidney)
- Oncologist (cancer)
- Physical therapy (to ease pain and help you move better)
- Podiatrist (feet)
- Pulmonologist (for breathing problems)
Your doctor and specialist work as a team
Think of your doctor and your specialist as your health care team. And the team’s goal is your health and well-being. Your doctor will:
- Find the right specialist for your needs.
- Help make your appointment with a specialist.
- Build a care plan with your specialist based on your personal needs.
- Work closely with your specialist so you get the care you need when you need it.
Remember, getting to the root of a health problem can take time. But your doctor and specialist are there to listen and to help. Don’t hesitate to speak up when you need to.
Need a specialist?
Talk to your primary care doctor.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.