What Kind of Doctor Do I See for Hepatitis C?

  • Medical Author:
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Dennis Lee, MD
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Ask the experts

What kind of medical specialist would you see to treat hepatitis C?

Doctor's response

Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. Technically, since hepatitis C is an infectious disease, one might think that an infectious disease specialist (a subspecialty of internal medicine) would be the appropriate medical specialist to see. Hepatitis C is more than a simple infection, however. It usually is a chronic infection that often is associated with important damage to the liver. Because of this fact, patients with hepatitis C are most commonly referred for treatment to a specialist in gastroenterology (also a subspecialty of internal medicine). Gastroenterologists specialize in diseases of all of the gastrointestinal organs including the liver. Moreover, there are gastroenterologists who specialize in diseases of the liver including hepatitis C. These specialists are called hepatologists. (Hepar means liver.) Whether patients with hepatitis C are treated by gastroenterologists or hepatologists depends on the expertise (gastroenterology or hepatology) available in the community, the severity of any associated liver disease, and the complexity of the contemplated treatment.

Medically reviewed by Venkatachala Mohan, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Gastroenterology

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 6/30/2017
CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW