The Care Team
As a patient of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), you’ll likely see many care providers. Our health care professionals work together to ensure you receive the best possible care throughout your journey. Here are the people you are most likely to see, and what they do to help you get better and maintain good health.
If a physician on your care team is board-certified, he or she chose to obtain an additional credential after medical school and residency training. Board-certified physicians have completed additional education and passed an examination to earn this credential. If one of your caregivers is fellowship-trained, the physician has had additional training in a particular area of interest.
Gynecologist: Gynecologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat diseases of the female reproductive system. They perform surgeries, such as removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy) and also can provide routine care, such as Pap smears, contraception and pelvic and breast examinations. Gynecologists also may practice obstetrics (the management of pregnancy). They may specialize in gynecologic oncology (the care and treatment of women with cancers of the reproductive organs) or reproductive endocrinology (the care and treatment of women and men who have infertility problems).
Urogynecologist: Urogynecologists are gynecologists who specialize in the care of women with pelvic floor dysfunction and continence problems. The pelvic floor consists of the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that help support and control the rectum, uterus, vagina and bladder.
Obstetrician: Obstetricians (also called OBs) are medical doctors who specialize in the care of pregnant women from the time of conception through delivery and the period following delivery (postpartum). Most obstetricians are also gynecologists who diagnose and treat diseases of the female reproductive system and provide care for women when they are not pregnant. An obstetrician also can specialize in perinatology (maternal fetal medicine) which focuses on high-risk pregnancies, testing and fetal development. An obstetrician may also specialize in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (care of women who have hormonal or fertility problems).
Primary care doctor: Your primary care doctor is your family doctor or internist. You will still see your primary care doctor for other medical concerns, so it is important for him or her to understand where you are in your care journey.
Plastic surgeon: Reconstructive or plastic surgeons correct facial and body abnormalities caused by birth defects, aging, trauma and disease. Usually, the goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to improve body function. However, reconstructive plastic surgery also may be performed to create a more normal appearance and improve self-esteem.
Clinical trials nurse: Lehigh Valley Health Network is actively involved in clinical research. Clinical trials are medical research studies that enlist volunteers to learn whether new medications, practices or devices are safe and effective. They are designed to find better ways to prevent or treat illness or disease. Participating in a research study is completely voluntary. If you choose to participate, you will be assigned a nurse who can help guide you and answer questions you may have.
Respiratory therapist: It’s possible you might see a respiratory therapist during your hospital stay. These health care professionals direct and manage your breathing (respiratory) and lung (pulmonary) care. A big part of their job is educating you. They might give you information and tools to manage your asthma or suggest ways to stop smoking.
Physical therapist: Physical therapists determine if you need therapy while in the hospital , and if so, will start you on a program. They also recommend whether or not you need additional therapy at a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility before going home. You can have physical therapy on an outpatient basis for many health conditions.
You will see several other caregivers and support staff if you stay in one of our hospitals. Meet the members of our inpatient team and learn how they will help you.