Cynthia Lopez • United States of America
What Type of Doctor is Best For Primary Care?
A primary care physician is the best person to depend on to help you better manage your healthcare. He or she can counsel you on your annual physical, screenings for common diseases and illnesses, and administer treatment if needed. Some people choose to get their general practitioner instead of a family practitioner, but this is not recommended. The difference in the two is that a general practitioner deals with all facets of medical practice, whereas a family practitioner focuses on just one area. A primary care physician can be considered an effective secondary healthcare provider.
How do you know who is best for your needs? You will need to ask your primary care doctor about your annual physicals and ask him about your screenings, your cholesterol screenings, your blood pressure screenings, and your immunization programs. Your primary care physician should be familiar with most health insurance plans and should be able to recommend plans that will suit your needs and budget. If you are on a Medicare program, he or she should be able to assist you in finding out which providers are part of the network and which providers are not. Many primary care doctors offer their patients free health screening and preventive care visits.
If you have had children, you will also need an ob-gyn doctor. An ob-gyn doctor specializes in delivering babies and assisting pregnant women during their reproductive years. He or she performs abortions as well as birth control procedures, as well as gynecological exams, pap smears, mammograms, and liposuction. In addition, he or she can assist with major surgeries such as a hysterectomy or vasectomy. When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, he or she can refer you to a sexual health professional or refer you to an STD clinic.
If you have chronic conditions or are in need of specific treatments, you will want a doctor who specializes in treating those conditions. Your regular physician may not be able to refer you to specialists. Some primary care doctors offer a special practice only for patients with chronic conditions or in need of specific treatments. For example, a doctor might offer a specific chronic care clinic for women who are pregnant. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you would go to a different clinic than a female diabetic.
Doctors vary in what areas of medicine they specialize in. Most general practitioners only specialize in preventative health care. Family doctors offer both preventive health care and medical care for common illnesses such as coughs, colds, fever, and skin conditions. Gynecologists specialize in reproductive health issues, while obstetricians deal with pregnancy issues. Although these doctors can diagnose and treat various diseases, their primary focus is on medical conditions.
Of the doctors who offer a specialty in a specific area of medicine, more commonly than not, a primary care doctor follows what is deemed necessary by the physician specialty. Therefore, if you want to be treated by an internal medicine doctor, you would go to an internal medicine specialist. Family doctors concentrate on common illnesses that affect the family. They also often work with other health professionals, such as nurses and psychologists. The differences between primary care and family medicine are that primary care doctors focus on the entire health of the patient, whereas family medicine doctors focus on a smaller group of patients.
Another factor to consider when choosing a primary care doctor is whether the facility offers financing options. Although some primary care facilities do not offer financing options, many do. The facility needs to be financially sound in order to provide quality health care. If a facility does not offer financing options, it is likely that the majority of patients would have to find their own means of paying for their health care.
When selecting a primary care physician, it is important to consider all of the factors mentioned above. Primary care doctors work in many different health care settings, so they should be fully aware of what type of services each clinic offers. In addition, you should ask about payment plans, hours of operation and availability of emergency care. If you feel as though the clinic you are considering offers quality services and a good price, then proceed to sign up for an appointment. You will be happy you did.