There are many different types of medical specialties, so understanding the difference between obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, family medicine, primary care, and internal medicine can be confusing. So, how do these differ?
When it comes to primary care and family medicine, selecting the proper primary care doctor is imperative for overall wellness and health. However, it can be tricky to get started with the vast number of options out there. Luckily, this article highlights all the need-to-know facts about the different types of primary care physicians and which primary care doctor is the correct one for you and your family.
Read on to learn about the different types of primary care physicians and what you should know before your next primary care visit.
What is a Primary Care Doctor?
A primary care doctor is an expert that you rely on to manage your health care needs, which can both routine needs or unexpected health issues.
These trained healthcare professionals assist patients with preventative care like immunizations, screenings, and routine physicals. Additionally, a primary care doctor may also diagnose a health condition and help treat or manage it. This can include conditions like type 2 diabetes or hypertension.
Primary care physicians can also help with the management of many illnesses and injuries that develop throughout your life. To summarize, some of the primary care doctor services include:
- Regular physical exams
- Managing chronic disorders
- Prescribing antibiotics or other medications
- Treating injuries and minor illnesses such as sinus infections, sleep issues, and skin problems
- Screening for health issues
Types of Primary Care Doctors and Why You Should Visit One
There are endless reasons as to why you may need a primary care doctor, but overall, you should regularly visit one to keep your mental and physical health in check.
A primary care doctor can identify health conditions before they become severe, boosting your chances of recovery. This can also mean saving more money on future medical expenses.
Different Types of Primary Care Physicians
There are five types primary care doctors:
- Internal medicine-pediatric doctors
- Family medicine doctors
- Internal medicine doctors
- OB-GYNs (Also known as obstetrics and gynecology professionals)
Each of these specialists are experts and knowledgeable in a wide array of health conditions. However, each doctor has a different expertise, background, and focus. For example, some of these professionals help patients of all ages, while others only treat older patients or women. This means that choosing the right primary care doctor for you will depend on you and your family’s needs.
Breaking Down the Five Types of Primary Care Physicians
You may be wondering, “what makes these different types of doctors different from each other?” Below, we discuss each specialist and why you may consider them as your dedicated primary care doctor.
In the simplest terms, pediatricians treat children from birth until early adulthood. These professionals are skilled in treating minor injuries, illnesses, and at times, severe conditions in children.
A family medicine doctor and a pediatrician can perform the same procedures. However, what makes a pediatrician different from a family medicine doctor is that they are exclusively focused on children’s health care and tailor their health plans to young patients.
It is important to choose a trained pediatrician that will help your family with medical health conditions that may arise during childhood and a child’s development. Pediatricians are experts in keeping children healthy and understanding their developmental milestones. In addition, a skilled pediatrician will have experience managing a child’s emotions and making them feel comfortable during their visit, which can be especially helpful if you have a frightened or shy child.
Internal Medicine Doctors
When it comes to the comparing different types of doctors, patients tend to get confused about the responsibilities of internal medicine professionals. In essence, these experts only care for adult patients and can also be called “internists”. Internists are experts in treating both simple and complex illnesses from early adulthood up to an older age.
A good internal medicine doctor is crucial for every adult looking to take care of health and wellbeing, especially with the responsibilities and stress that adult life may present. These professionals can treat issue that arise, such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension.
Family Medicine Doctors
A family medicine doctor is unique from the rest of the specialties covered so far, because they take care of the entire family, from babies and parents to elderly family members. So, if any of your family members are feeling ill, you can consult with a family medicine doctor.
The best part of having a reliable family medicine doctor is that you can have peace of mind when it comes to the wellbeing of you and your loved ones. These experts are typically also well-versed in communicating with patients of varying ages, from toddlers to senior citizens.
Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Doctors
As you may have guessed, internal medicine-pediatrics doctors are board-certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine. This means that they can care for children and adults. Sometimes, these professionals are also called “med-peds.”
The reason for needing a good internal medicine-pediatric doctor is simple. Med-peds are an excellent solution for a primary care doctor for the whole family, similar to family medicine doctors. In this case, if your loved ones have a medical illness that may need specialized assistance, med-peds can assist with that as well.
Obstetrics and Gynecology Doctors
OB-GYNs are different from the other types of primary care physicians because they only treat women. These professionals are experts in women’s health, especially the reproductive system. If you need to get a pelvic exam, pap smear, STI testing, or anything else related to your reproductive health, you’ll want to consult an OB-GYN. These experts can also help with family planning and selecting the right birth control for you. You can also reach out to them if you have questions about menopause or pregnancy.
If you need a trusted OB-GYN doctor or if you’re looking for guidance on female reproductive health, you will need to visit good OB-GYN doctor. You can also schedule regular checkups and consultations with an OB-GYN, as recommended to people and women of all ages, even if you are in excellent health.
Geriatrics, or geriatric medicine, is a speciality focusing on the care of adults ages 60 or older. Geriatricians are typically considered primary care doctors and are highly needed, especially considering the aging baby boomer generation. These experts can work in private practices, hospitals, group practices, or long-term facilities.
How Often Do I Need to Consult a Primary Care Doctor?
Whether you choose an internal medicine doctor, an OB-GYN, or any other specialist mentioned above, you’ll want to visit the right primary care doctor for you for regular check-ups. This way, you can ensure that you’re always healthy mentally and physically. It’s also vital you keep up with immunizations and routine screenings.
In general, if you are feeling healthy, you might only need to consult your doctor once a year. However, patients with chronic disorders might need to visit a primary care physician more frequently.
Book an Appointment Today
If you are looking for reliable experts, Corus Advantage affiliated physicians offer primary care services. Armed with extensive expertise and knowledge, affiliated physicians can to take care of any health concerns you may have.