For diagnosis and treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC), you will probably see your regular doctor first. That physician will likely be a primary care physician, family doctor, or general practitioner. If the patient is a child, a pediatrician will do the initial evaluation.

If your symptoms suggest a digestive problem such as UC, your doctor will usually refer you to a gastroenterologist (or pediatric gastroenterologist, if the patient is a child)—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the digestive tract. If you need surgery at some point, you will also see a colorectal surgeon.

You may never need hospitalization for your UC, especially if your symptoms are mild, but if you do, knowing where to go can save time and stress. Ask your doctor or gastroenterologist about choosing a hospital or other treatment facility now, so it’s there when you need it.

Knowing which health professionals can help diagnose and treat UC is an important first step toward managing the condition successfully.