Primary Care Physician
Sometimes called a general practitioner or family practice physician, this doctor will treat your common illnesses such as colds and minor infections. He or she can also serve as a home base for your medical care, sending you to specialists as needed and collecting all your data in one place for future reference.
A gynecologist is a doctor specializing in caring for and treating diseases of the female reproductive organs. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that a girl make her first visit to a gynecologist when she is between the ages of 13 and 15 and then once a year (or as needed) after that. Your gynecologist will perform a Pap test and pelvic exam, as well as other needed tests, at each visit.
An obstetrician is a doctor specializing in the care of women and their babies during pregnancy and childbirth. Most obstetricians are also gynecologists, as the specialties overlap. Your obstetrician will guide you through the entire process of pregnancy and will help you manage any pregnancy complications.
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating skin conditions as well as conditions relating to hair and nails. A dermatologist can help women manage conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea and help prevent and treat aging of the skin. He or she can also conduct an annual full-body skin check of moles to recognize the early warning signs of melanoma.
An optometrist is a healthcare professional trained to deliver eye and vision care and will have a Doctor of Optometry (DO) degree. Optometrists generally act as your primary eye care physician, and you visit one annually to get your vision checked. Most of the time, an optometrist will be the one to prescribe corrective eyewear as needed, though an ophthalmologist may also perform regular eye exams as well.
An ophthalmologist is a healthcare professional with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree who specializes in the treatment of the eyes and related structures. If you have a serious eye condition that requires surgery, your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist. You may also see an ophthalmologist for regular eye exams and prescription lenses.
Dentists take care of your teeth and provide any oral healthcare necessary. You should visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup every six months.