The primary role of your primary care physician is to keep track of your family and personal medical history over time and to watch for signs that could signal a problem. The more your personal physician knows about you, the better she or he can care for you. Primary care physicians work closely with specialists to stay on top of your overall health and provide follow-up care after any treatments or procedures. These doctors have a broad base of training and experience and know when you need to see a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon, cardiologist, dentist or surgeon. Think of your primary care physician as your partner in good health and the professional to turn to first when you have an illness or injury.
Are there certain types of doctors who provide primary care?" you may ask. Actually, there are several. And all have medical degrees as well as extensive specialized training and offer a wide range of healthcare services.
Family Medicine physicians provide comprehensive care for all family members from newborns through older adults.
Internal Medicine doctors provide primary and advanced medical care for teenagers and adults of all ages.
Pediatricians are experts in primary care for children, usually from infancy into the teenage years.
Your primary care physician might be a MD (medical doctor) or a DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine). Both have completed medical school and post-graduate residency programs, and many have additional training and certifications.