|FAQs About Primary Care Specialties|
What is the difference between a Family Practitioner and Internal Medicine doctor?
Both Family Practitioners and Internal Medicine doctors provide comprehensive and preventative health care, and treat a broad scope of illnesses and injuries. They also coordinate their patients' medical care - including checkups, immunizations, referrals to specialists, lab and x-ray services, and hospital admissions.
Family Practitioners (also known as general practitioners or family physicians) provide health care for all ages and both genders and often treat the whole family. They educate patients about important health care issues and treat acute and chronic illnesses, including colds, flus and aches and pains.
Doctors of Internal Medicine (also known as Internists) specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating a broad range of diseases that specifically affect adults. Internal Medicine doctors do not treat children.
At what age should my child start seeing a Pediatrician?
Children should start seeing a pediatrician as soon as they are born. Pediatricians are primary care physicians who specialize in treating children from infants to teenagers. They provide annual medical exams, immunizations, and care for a wide range of chronic and acute conditions.
What is a Geriatrician?
Geriatricians are primary care physicians who are board-certified in either family practice or internal medicine, and have additional training in health care issues that affect adults later in life. They focus on preventative health care and the treatment of disease and disability for individuals age 65 or older. They tend to focus on a holistic approach and pay close attention to how medical, social and psychological problems contribute to each patient’s condition. Individuals with multiple medical problems or diseases exclusive to older adults will receive the most benefit from treatment and care by a geriatrician.
What is an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)?
Advanced Practice Nurses (APN), are registered nurses who provide primary health care services. Most have a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, and have advanced education, skills and scope of practice. APNs can diagnose illness, prescribe medication and provide preventative care and health education.
What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?
Physician Assistants are non-physician clinicians licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They obtain medical histories and perform exams, order treatments, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication and interpret diagnostic tests.