Doctors are the medical professionals most adult Americans turn to when they or their children are ill or need medical attention, and most Americans have a physician whom they may schedule an appointment with if need be. Some medical issues call for visiting an urgent care clinic if time is of the essence, but in many other cases, Americans should visit their doctor, such as ENT doctors (ear nose throat) or family doctors. They may also visit pediatricians for their children’s health. These doctors may have access to their detailed medical records, and refer their patients to relevant experts who can take care of their medical issues. These range from diagnosing a mental disorder in a young child all the way to ear infections to early signs of diabetes or cancer, or anything else. How might these medical professions be found, and what do they do?
Finding a Doctor
When a family moves to a new area, or if their child becomes old enough to visit a pediatrician, they may look for local doctor’s offices that they can visit for general checkups or getting referrals. To begin, a person may use the Internet to look for local doctor’s offices, if they do not have any personal references that they can use. In this way, a patient may look for general doctors or something more specialized such as a pediatrician. The query entered online may specify the seeker’s city or town name or even their ZIP code to find something local, such as “doctors in Plano TX” or “nearby doctor offices in Miami FL” or ENT doctors in Boston MA.” Doing this may narrow down the field to local doctor’s offices, and the search may show the names, addresses, and contact information for these doctors and their clinics. A seeker may remove offices from this list that are deemed too far away to conveniently visit, or those that cannot take on new patients.
At this point, the seeker may visit these doctor’s offices in person and evaluate the building and consult the medical experts who work there. The guest may consult the doctors and find out their credentials, educational background, experience, and more. If the guest is looking for a pediatrician for their child, they may bring their child along, too. A young child won’t ask doctors for their credentials or check if their healthcare policies are accepted there, but children may get an impression of the office in general. If the child is at ease in the office and gets along with the staff, that pediatrician’s office may be a good candidate. Conversely, if the child is stressed or frightened, the doctor’s office may be taken off the list. Once the family finds a doctor that all relevant parties like, they may sign on and become regular patients there.
Varieties of Doctors
Many doctors are general physicians, and may be what Americans think of when they hear “doctor.” But there are specialists as well, such as the aforementioned pediatricians. These doctors are experts in the anatomy of babies and children, and are familiar with diseases, mental disorders, and other afflictions common to patients under 18 years of age. Parents may take their child to a pediatrician regularly for checkups as the child ages, or take them there if a child has caught an illness. A pediatrician may expertly diagnose the problem.
Meanwhile, family doctors are just that: doctors who can take on entire families as patients at a time, and they are flexible enough to treat children, young adults, and older adults all the same. There are also ENT doctors, who specialize in conditions of the ears, nose, and throat, hence the name. These body parts often suffer from infections and other issues, but in fact, an ENT doctor may also diagnose and look over health problems with anything in the patient’s head. An ENT may also diagnose issues with the patient’s eyes or neck muscles, for example, or at least refer the patient to a narrower specialist. Such a doctor may refer a patient to a hearing clinic if the patient is concerned that they are losing their hearing. It is estimated that as many as 15% of all Americans aged 18 and over suffer from hearing problems of varying kinds.