A primary care provider is the person you can rely on to help you manage your health. They can help you with preventive care, like your routine physicals, screenings and immunizations, and also diagnose and manage many common chronic conditions like hypertension or type 2 diabetes. They’re also there when an illness or injury interrupts your day. Primary care providers conduct regular physical exams, prescribe medications, treat minor illnesses and injuries, manage chronic conditions and screen for common health problems.
Primary care doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are unique because they’re trained experts in treating a broad range of health conditions. Many also have specialized expertise in a certain area, like diabetes or geriatrics. Should you need specialized care, your primary care provider can expertly guide your next steps, connecting you to the right specialist.
What kind of primary care provider do I need?
DMA has three different types of primary care providers–Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatric. Each has a different background and focus, but all can provide you with the regular preventive health care you need, and can help with the management of some chronic conditions. Here is a brief explanation of each to help you decide which provider would be the best fit for your care.
Family Medicine Providers
The unique benefit of a family medicine provider is that they care for your whole family. They see babies, children, parents and grandparents. No matter who in your family is sick, you have one person to call who knows your family history and can provide highly personalized care.
Why choose a family medicine provider for primary care?
Having a family medicine provider gives you the convenience and peace of mind of knowing that you can go to one trusted source for all of your family’s health care needs. Because they treat a variety of patients, family medicine providers have a wide range of experience. They know how to communicate with patients of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly.
A family medicine provider can be a convenient option for busy parents who want to take care of multiple family appointments on the same day.
Pediatricians specialize in caring for children, from birth through early adulthood. They’re trained to treat minor illnesses and injuries, along with more complex conditions.
Pediatricians are experts at understanding developmental milestones and keeping children on track toward a healthy future.
Why choose a pediatrician for primary care?
While their area of focus overlaps with family medicine doctors, who also see children, pediatricians specialize in children’s health care. They’re familiar with a wide range of childhood medical conditions and are experienced in talking with children and helping them feel comfortable – a big plus if your child is shy or scared of going to the doctor.
Internal medicine Providers
Internal medicine providers (also called internists) care for adults from early adulthood through old age. Because they only treat adult patients, internists are well versed in issues that primarily affect adults, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Why choose an internal medicine doctor for primary care?
Internal medicine doctors are trained to treat both simple and complex conditions. They’re experts at balancing your regular preventive care needs with your specialized care needs.