How to Find a Physician
Choosing a health care provider can be confusing. There are many physician specialties, all of which require different training, experience, and expertise. To help you find the kind of doctor best able to help you, consider the following:
- How unusual is your problem? Is a specialist really needed, or can your primary care doctor diagnose and treat you?
- Have you traveled outside of the United States?
- Do you have special health concerns that require a specialist? For instance, pregnancy, diabetes, immune system problems, or other diseases?
- Does your health insurance allow you to see a specialist before seeing your primary care physician, or do you need a letter of referral from your primary care physician?
- Why do you think your illness is likely to be an infection caused by a parasite?
What kind of doctor should I see?
The specialist you see should be related to the signs and symptoms you are having. Several kinds of physician specialties and a description are listed below.
|Kind of physician||A physician who|
|Dermatologist||Diseases of the skin, hair, and nails|
|Gastroenterologist||Diseases of the stomach and intestine|
|Infectious Disease Specialist||Illnesses caused by infections with bacteria, viruses, or parasites|
|Internal Medicine Specialist||Diseases of adults, similar to a general practitioner, but with additional specialized training|
|Travel Medicine Specialist||Travel-related illnesses (see before and after travel)|
Can I make an appointment at CDC?
No. CDC is not a clinic or hospital. CDC is a public health institution that is a part of the federal government. CDC cannot refer patients to specific health care providers or treat or prescribe medication.
I have heard that parasitic infections are rare in the United States and that doctors don’t know how to diagnose or treat them.
This is not true. Parasitic diseases are diagnosed and treated every day in the United States. Some are common and some are very rare, found only in travelers or immigrants from areas where the parasites are common. Diagnosis is sometimes difficult and may require a specialist.
Where can I find a physician?
To find a physician familiar with diagnosing and treating parasitic infections, consider the following:
- Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a specialist.
- Contact a local, city, county, or state health department in your area. They may have a clinic where you can be seen.
- Contact the nearest medical school teaching hospital or medical center for an appointment with a specialist.
- Check your local telephone book for primary care and specialist listings.
- Contact a member of a tropical medicine society or association.
Examples of such associations include:
Note: Not all physicians are members of associations or societies. Often a member of such a society is referred to as a "diplomate."
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348
New Hours of Operation