Is a gynecologist the same as a regular doctor that you go to for checkups? Or do you need to have two different doctors?
Gynecologists and primary care doctors specialize in different things.
Gynecologists are trained to focus on women's health issues. Primary care doctors (also sometimes called "general practitioners") are the doctors we see for regular checkups and immunizations, and when we're not feeling well. Family medicine doctors, internists, and pediatricians are all primary care doctors.
Some primary care doctors provide routine gynecological care like breast and pelvic exams, but others don't. It all depends on the doctor. Primary care doctors who do provide gynecological care may still refer patients to gynecologists for more specific care if they think it's needed.
Ask your primary care doctor if she or he does routine gynecological exams. If not, ask for the name of a gynecologist.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: May 2011
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|American Academy of Nurse Practitioners The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners promotes the high standards of health care delivered by nurse practitioners.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|WomensHealth.gov Developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, 4woman offers reliable women's health information.|
|Primary Care Doctors: Who's Who A primary care physician is your first stop for medical care. Find out more about the primary care doctors who treat teens.|
|Talking to Your Doctor Your best resource for health information and advice is your doctor - the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.|
|Managing Your Medical Care Visit our center on managing your medical care for advice on how to get involved in taking charge of your health and choosing the right health care providers.|
|What Can I Expect From the Gynecologist? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|When Is it Time to Start Seeing a Gynecologist? Find out what the experts have to say.|
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