Types of Pregnancy Physicians
Thanks to the tremendous amount of money and investment put into education, modern society can avail itself of a variety of types of physicians. Specialties abound as physicians' careers can be channeled into the exact field of study the individual desires. This is no less true for physicians assistants, nurse practitioners and others who study medicine. When it comes to gathering information on physician specialties, anyone wanting to know about what is available can simply check with the medical faculty of their favorites university to get the rundown.
Women's Medicine - The OB/GYN
The field of women's medicine is huge, with physician specialties covering everything from gynecological issues to reproductive endocrinology and infertility. The field of obstetrics and gynecology deals primarily with the female reproductive system. Sometimes an OB/GYN is the primary physician for women. Not only is the OB/GYN the one to treat issues of women's reproductive systems, but this physician is also the one to address menstrual problems, pelvic organ disorders, infertility, menopause issues, cancer of the reproductive organs and pregnancy.
An obstetrician can also be a gynecologist, since both practices are closely tied together. An obstetrician deals with issues that involve a pregnant woman and her baby during pregnancy and childbirth and is often a consultant to other physicians involved in caring for a woman. As a woman progresses through her pregnancy, she will have several visits with her obstetrician who will monitor her pregnancy.
Another field of pregnancy-related medicine is maternal and fetal medicine, which involves high-risk or complicated pregnancies and deliveries. When a mother and her baby require constant monitoring and specialized care, the obstetrician/gynecologist will be more present and involved in the pregnancy than if it were low-risk. Sometimes the baby will have a genetic disorder or other in vitro complication affecting it. If there is a high order multiple pregnancy or a history of complications, then an ob/gyn will use maternal and fetal medicine applications to work with the patients.
Reproductive endocrinology and infertility physicians deal with the endocrine system in its relationship to fertility. In this field you will find physicians who are gynecologists, obstetricians, pediatricians, or oncologists - any of whom are treating women who want to conceive and are having difficulty for one reason or another. This physician has a specialty in reproductive medicine, diagnosis of hormonal conditions, and infertility treatments.
Special Care for Premature Babies
Neonatal-perinatal specialists may be pediatricians and they deal with the diseases and disorders of newborn babies. A neonatal-perinatal physician is specially trained and knowledgeable in treating premature babies, focusing on caring for and improving the health of newborns who have arrived ahead of schedule and end up with problems as a result.
Finally a family practice physician often has a varied and extensive medical background which can cover internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and geriatrics. These physicians are skilled in the care of people of all ages and are often the primary caregiver for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, all the way to delivery and care of the infant after the birth. They can treat all manner of health issues and perform numerous procedures on patients - everything from allergy shots to biopsies and MRIs.
What Is A Physicians' Assistant?
Often physicians will have a physicians' assistant or physician associate (PA) working alongside. A PA is a licensed healthcare professional who can practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician. They are primarily concerned with the prevention, maintenance and treatment of illness and injury through the provision of traditionally practiced methods in health care. When applied to pregnancy, a PA may typically take a medical history, perform examinations and order specific tests and treatments. A PA may refer a woman to a specialist if the need is there. They can practice in any medical or surgical specialty they desire to train for and are able to move between physician careers as they wish.
Do I Need A Physicians' Desk Reference?
A woman who wants to be well-informed about her healthcare providers and knowledgeable about any drugs or prescriptions she has been ordered, can do so by securing a copy of the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR). This compilation of prescription drug information, which is useable alongside a medical dictionary, can help a woman know the full import of any prescribed drugs she is given.