Find the Right Primary Care Doctor for You
As published in the Capitol Hill Times, the Greater Seattle Business Association newsletter, the North Seattle Herald-Outlook and the South Seattle Beacon
Everyone needs a primary care doctor—the one who conducts your physicals, the one you call when you twist your ankle, get stung by a bee, or eat something funny. Some doctors treat entire families; others see only children or only adults. Which type of doctor best suits you and your family? Let’s take a look at four types of primary care physicians.
Family Medicine (also known as Family Practice) – Care for all individuals
At the heart of this specialty is the patient-physician relationship. Family Medicine practitioners cover all areas of general health care, including pediatric and adolescent health, women’s health and gynecology, men’s health and aging issues.
Internal Medicine (also known as “Internists”) – Care for adults
Internal Medicine practitioners are trained to deal with any medical issue an adult patient may have, from preventive care and common disorders to rare or chronic diseases. Internists see a wide variety of patients ranging from highly athletic individuals to people with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and kidney disease. They help all their patients work toward achieving optimal physical and mental health. Medical systems can be difficult for patients to navigate through, especially if they have complex medical problems. Internists work with multiple specialists and other care providers to help patients achieve a sense of comprehensive and coordinated care.
Pediatrics – Care for children
Pediatrics is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Because young patients are rapidly growing and changing, pediatricians must communicate with caregivers to ensure they understand as much as possible about their children’s growth, development, and overall picture of health.
Geriatric Medicine – Care for adults of advanced age
Geriatric Medicine is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders that occur in older people. Today, the number of people aged 65 and older is larger than ever before, and those aged 85 and older constitute the fastest growing segment of the population. Geriatricians recognize that aging is not an illness; rather, it is a time where quality of life and functional ability can be maintained with proper care, and health and happiness are encouraged.