Job Roles of a Doctor

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

While the primary role of all doctors includes diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medicines and administering treatments, job roles within the medical field differ according to a doctor's specialisation.

In addition to specialised doctors such as surgeons, neurologists, ophthalmologists, and gynecologists, general practitioners with general medical practices have their own unique set of responsibilities.

OB-GYN doctor

If a female patient is in need of a medical doctor specialising in care and health issues affecting women, an obstetrician and gynecologist (ob/gyn) doctor is who she would seek medical care from. The role of a ob/gyn is to assist patients who need care concerning pregnancy or issues with the reproductive system. This specialist addresses issues such as cervical or breast cancer, hormonal disorders and problems with urinary tract functions.


A paediatrician makes certain newborn infants mature and grow properly and diagnosis and inform parents of potential medical issues. New parents typically meet with a paediatrician several times in the baby's first year. Paediatricians typically deal with children's colds, fevers, ear infections, diaper rashes and sleeping disorders. Paediatricians also provide parenting advice, including information regarding a child's reactions to immunisation shots, eating habits and hearing or eyesight problems.


If you suffer an injury or need an operation to address a disease, you will likely come under the care of a surgical doctor. There are several speciality areas within the domain of surgery. For example, surgeons who specialise in orthopaedic surgery treat bone injuries, while neurological surgeons treat medical issues affecting the brain and nervous system. Plastic surgeons perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery to repair disfigurements and improve appearance.

General practitioner

Family doctors are typically general practitioners who oversee the medical care of families. This may entail treating health problems or simply providing a family with annual medical check ups and maintaining the family medical history. The general practitioner is often affiliated with a medical clinic that has speciality areas, as well as with a local hospital. Family general practitioners help families set medical health and wellness goals and provide emotional support.