5 Types of Primary Care Doctors You Should Know
Whether you're sick or not, getting in to see the doctor is difficult right now. COVID-19 is monopolizing the resources and staff of most city hospitals and other medical care services.
Meanwhile, your medical needs still require attention. If your regular doctor can't see you now, you'll have to take who you can get.
But with so many options of primary care specialties, how can you be sure you receive the right care? Family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics—which type of primary care doctor do you need right now? Does it even matter?
If you're not sure, keep reading. Below is a short but complete guide on the different types of primary care doctors. Read on, learn the difference, and then call the appropriate doctor who can help you.
Family Medicine Physicians
As you may have guessed, family medicine physicians are the most convenient choice if you are looking for a regular doctor who can see your whole family. They have a general knowledge of all types of illnesses, injuries, and other health conditions.
Family physicians are also fully educated in caring for people of all ages and backgrounds. They help children, infants, pregnant/nursing mothers, the elderly, those with allergies or chronic conditions, etc. It is also helpful to have one doctor who is familiar with your whole family's health history and living situation.
These doctors don't usually have specialist knowledge in any particular field. But they still provide competent care for healthcare you may normally see a specialist for, such as sports injuries.
Internal Medicine Physicians
Internal medicine physicians, or internists, are trained to care specifically for adult patients. They treat patients ranging in age from young adults to seniors.
Internal medicine is neither appropriate nor helpful for children and babies. But it's a great choice of care for specifically adult issues, like aging and type 2 diabetes.
On the other end of the spectrum are pediatricians. They specialize in treating patients from birth until young adulthood. In the same way that internists are best for adult issues, there is no doctor better for treating childhood/development issues than a pediatrician.
Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Physicians
Just like they sound, internal medicine-pediatrics physicians, also called med-peds, are a combination internist and pediatrician. They are competent to treat patients of all ages with all normal issues.
Med-peds differ from family medicine doctors in that they are actually specialists in two fields. Family medicine physicians have a broader knowledge of medicine in general than med-peds. But med-peds have highly specialized training in caring for children and in internal health issues, like diseases of the organs.
OB/GYN specializes exclusively in women's health. They are the only appropriate doctors for complete care in pregnancy and birthing. They are also best for treating menopause, women's breast cancer, and any problems with the female reproductive system.
The 5 Main Types of Primary Care Specialties
Now that you know about the different primary care specialties, you know what to look for when seeking medical attention. If you still have questions, please let us know how we can help.