“What Kind of Doctor Do I Need?”: Answering a Common FAQ

In our lives, we face a multitude of questions that seem to bear a greater level of difficulty when it comes to finding an answer. Whether you like to dwell or deal with an inquiry that needs to be answered immediately, there’s no doubt that you’re guaranteed to run into various types of questions sooner or later. 

Among the different questions that you could run into throughout a lifetime, there’s one that you should know the answer to: “What kind of doctor do I need?”

The difficulty of finding the right doctor

Whether you’re dealing with a wound that won’t heal or a hoarse cough that causes lots of worrying, finding the right doctor is crucial because it’s essential for effective treatment. Yet, the problem with finding the right specialist for your needs is that there are so many of them to choose from, and it doesn’t help that there are barely any context clues to work with. 

Seeing that your body functions according to the most complicated system known to man, no two professionals can do the work of one another. 

How to find the fittest practitioner for your needs

Finding a primary care physician is undoubtedly difficult, yet it can be made easier when you have the right tips in mind. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about wasting your time, money, or health (or even your life) in your selection process because we’ve got you covered with this concise guide: 

Do you need a specialist?

Before you even think about hiring a medical practitioner to remedy your sickness, it’s crucial to understand that you’ll need to determine whether or not you require the services of a specialist. If you’re dealing with a type of pain or discomfort that is general (such as a fever, cough, colds, or headaches) or are on an HMO plan, your best bet is to see a primary care physician before all else. 

When you go for the help of a primary care practitioner, here are three main options you’ll need to choose from: 

  • Family physicians: These professionals are specially trained in dealing with children, women, or the elderly. Likewise, they are also capable of treating patients of any age and gender.

  • General practitioners: They are responsible for determining whether a patient’s symptoms or condition can be treated with a general approach or require a specialist’s services.

  • Internist: Designated with the responsibility of treating adults, internists are geared towards helping adults, and these physicians are usually found in clinics and hospitals. What sets them apart from other primary care doctors (aside from designation) is that they’re trained in treating all of the body’s major organ systems!

What to do if you need a specialist

Generally, a primary care physician will recommend a particular type of specialist for your needs once they’ve diagnosed your problem. However, if you’re in a situation where you zero emergency help and have no time to wait for a recommendation, here’s a quick outline of common specialists and what they tend to:

  • Cardiologists: Heart conditions and issues, such as strokes, heart attacks, heart murmurs, hypertension, and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia) 
  • Allergologists: Allergies and asthma 
  • Bariatrician: Weight loss, obesity, and other disorders related to excess weight and diabetes
  • Psychiatrists: Mental health-related issues 
  • Pediatricians: Specialized care for children or younger teenagers
  • Neurologists: Disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves 
  • Orthopedic surgeons: Injuries and diseases of the body’s bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves


When it comes to finding a doctor, having the right information in mind can go a long way towards receiving adequate and effective care with little-to-no complications. With the help of this guide, you’ll have a clear idea of what to do and who to search for if you face a medical emergency that requires immediate help. 

Are you looking for a reliable primary care doctor in North Bergen, NJ? Then you have come to the right place! At Garden State Medical Group, our physicians aim to promote good health by focusing on prevention, treatment, and education. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!

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