What Does A Doctor Do?
If you have ever been so sick that you had to visit your family physician, you know how important the job of a doctor is. In a nutshell, doctors help people get well and recover from their sickness. Whether they do their work in clinics, hospitals, healthcare organizations or communities, doctors work to keep people in the best of health.
Their tasks involve taking a patient’s medical history and evaluating their state of health by conducting a thorough physical examination of the patient. They take into consideration vital signs, overall physical condition and the patient’s description of his symptoms in order to determine what the problem is. Before finalizing a diagnosis, doctors often request for laboratory tests and imaging exams. After these have been done, they would then interpret the results and inform the patient about it. It is from these results that doctors will determine what medicine to prescribe and any lifestyle changes that need to be made, if necessary.
Doctors also give patients guidelines on how to improve their health by observing proper nutrition, hygiene and exercise. They also monitor patients, especially those who are diagnosed with chronic conditions and make the necessary adjustments to their treatment plans in case the patient is not making any headway under the initial plan. In case they find that another physician or specialist will be more able to provide treatment, they also recommend patients to see them.
Doctors generally don’t utilize surgical operations to treat patients. This task is left to surgeons whose main mode of intervention in treating patients is by letting them go under the knife. If a doctor feels that an operation is warranted—for instance, when a tumor needs to be removed because of its massive size or when a heart surgery is necessary to give a patient a longer lease on life—then he usually works in tandem with the surgeon to craft the best treatment plan possible. He also informs the surgeon of the potential risks that the patient will take when operated on.
The responsibilities and tasks as well as the conditions and patients that physicians will treat often depend on their area of specialization. Pediatricians, for example, treat young people and infants. They administer vaccination to new babies and illnesses and conditions common to children. Obstetricians and gynecologists, on the other hand, provide care to women. They monitor a woman’s pregnancy and deliver babies. Internists generally work with adults and are concerned with diseases in a person’s internal organs. Mental disorders and illnesses are diagnosed and treated by psychiatrists.
The area in the hospital where they are assigned also determine the tasks of doctors. For example, doctors working in the emergency room are the first providers of care in cases when patients are brought in because of accidents and trauma. They have to be adept at the use of emergency care equipment that helps keep patients alive. They also perform various procedures to relieve patients of their condition. They suture wounds, set dislocated joints and administer pain relievers to those suffering from intense pain.
Doctors are often required to work long hours. A typical schedule looks like this: They see an average of 20 patients in the morning in their clinic and then do their rounds in the hospital where they check the progress of their patients who are admitted. This responsibility often lengthens their work hours each day by anywhere from one to three hours depending on the number of patients and the kind of illnesses they have.
Doctors are often required to be on-call. This means that they are required to go back to the hospital any time of the day or night when their services are needed.
Aside from their regular work in the hospital, doctors may also join outreach programs in various local communities and around the world. These medical missions allow them to provide service to sectors in society that most need medical care but can’t afford to pay for it. They don’t charge a fee for their services and can partner with organizations to provide medicines to patients in these outreach programs. Their expertise is often needed after calamities like typhoons, storms and earthquake leave many people injured and suffering.