In response to a post by @JOANNEinAUS (finally) I have started a thread explaining the role of various clinic staff in providing care for your hep B. I’ll start off by saying that this is from my experience as a patient and someone who has worked with clinicians (but isn’t one). Also this is from an Australian experience and roles might vary from country to country. Would love if any @HealthExperts want to contribute too.
- General Practitioner (GP) - Usually your primary care provider that you can see on a regular basis. Specific knowledge about hepatitis B can be variable, as they are not specialists. Can order blood tests and refer to specialists (below).
- Gastroenterologist - Someone who specialises in the whole digestive system (intestines, stomach, liver, colon, pancreas, etc.)
- Hepatologist - Someone who specialises in the liver. A type of gastroenterologist. They will generally have a much better idea about hepatitis B.
- Infectious Disease Specialist - Someone who specialises in understanding viruses, bacteria, and fungus that infect people.
- Oncologist - Someone who specialises in cancer, and will only usually be involved if there is a diagnosis of liver cancer.
- Registered Nurse - Can provide further education and follow-up referral information.
- Nurse Practitioner - Registered nurses who continue their education to receive a Master’s degree in a specific field and have greater capacity to provide care.
Not involved in health care
- Virologist - A scientist trying to understand viruses. Title does not denote medical training and is not involved in providing health care.
- Epidemiologist - A scientist trying to understand the spread of infections. Title does not denote medical training and is not involved in providing health care.