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What Is A Primary Care Doctor?  Everything There Is to Know

Doctor with patient

In essence, staying healthy is more than your visits to the hospital when you’re sick. It’s about knowing you’ve got a qualified and experienced healthcare expert from an accomplished healthcare center like the Partida Corona Medical Center, who’ll help you diagnose, treat and prevent infections before they worsen.

Defining A Primary Care Doctor

In simple terms, a primary care doctor is a medical professional responsible for helping you diagnose, treat, and prevent different kinds of diseases. The infections can be congenital, meaning they are associated with children or for adulthood age. Also, you can define them as an individual who specializes in adults alone or children exclusively, or a combination of both.

Those dealing with children and babies are known as pediatricians, while those for adult health needs alone are called internal medicine professionals. Additionally, another category handles both adults’ and kids’ health care needs, usually known as internal medicine –pediatric doctors. Usually, they are your family’s first contact for all health concerns. They are instrumental in helping you figure out a quick solution for a healthier life. They will offer excellent services in preventing, curing, and treating common and chronic illnesses. 

What Does Your Primary Care Medic Do?

The general work of your doctor is addressing you on a wide variety of health concerns and minding about your health status. They are the first people you’ll reach out to if you’ve got adult or children health issues. Mostly, you’ll want to turn to them if you’re looking for them to help you in:

  • The treatment of common diseases
  • Preventive care services ie stopping diseases before they attack you or become severe
  • Early detection of diseases and conditions like cancer
  • Managing chronic and long-lasting infections
  • Referring you to medical specialists 

The Qualifications of A Primary Care Medic

To qualify as your reliable primary doctor, your physician must undergo the process that is legally accepted to offering the primary care services, including:

1. Earning A College Degree

Your doctor must enter a medical school and decide on a major to be legally registered and accepted as a practitioner in your state. Generally, they’ll have to cover biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics plus English. Once they are admitted and pass the first admission test, commonly called MCAT test, they’ll be eligible to continue their pursuit of a degree.

2. Majoring In Either General Medicine Or Osteopathy

While others will major in surgery and more, your primary doctor has the option of settling for general medicine or osteopathy. These are the two areas of specialization of becoming a certified and recognized primary care professional.  While general medicine deals with all types of diseases, their prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, osteopathy focuses more on direct patient care. However, in both cases, your primary care doctor will be trained the basics of diagnosis, disease management, pharmacology, and other essential medical skills. Additionally, the added advantage of specializing in osteopathic medical primary care services is that your doctor will be trained on the manipulative treatment techniques where they use their hands to diagnose and treat infections.

Going For Residency Practice

After earning their degree and deciding whether to take general medicine or osteopathy, your primary care doctor must attend a medical residency. This is an experimental phase where they’ll spend about three years gathering knowledge and experience towards the direct care of all age groups. If your doctor deals exclusively with adult health concerns, their residency will focus on adults and takes three years. In contrast, pediatricians focus more on kids’ infections, diagnosis, and treatment and take three years in their residency practice.

However, one distinguishing factor to note in becoming a primary care doctor is that family care doctors also gain experience in general or minor surgeries and obstetrics, which is unnecessary for someone who exclusively deals with kids.  Also, they will all gain experience in the management of adult and children’s heart diseases and general family health care practices. Moreover, general or internal medicine primary health doctors sit for a complete medical licensing exam during their residency. In contrast, osteopathic medics sit for exams under the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Authorities.

Certification, Licensing, and Fellowships

Once your primary care doctor qualifies in their final residency examination, the last step to becoming a recognized primary care professional is to be eligible for certification, go for fellowships, and obtain licensing. Usually, fellowships are extended training your doctor might be interested considering they are not mandatory. Fellowships are meant to help expand more on one’s area of interest for about one year, primarily if they deal with women’s health care.

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