Primary Care Physician in Gaithersburg, MD
If you've ever wondered what constitutes a “Primary Care Physician,” you are not alone. Your primary care physician is, in essence, your medical home. They are the first line of defense in answering for you if something is amiss with your current health.
There are four types of doctors you will find under the umbrella of primary care physician. They are as follows:
- Family Practice Physicians
- Internal Medicine Physicians
- General Practice Physicians
Here is a brief primer on how these four categories of physicians would work with you:
- Pediatricians typically manage the healthcare for babies, children, adolescents and young adults through age 21. They are focused on managing the physical, mental and emotional well being of your child.
- Family Practice Physicians is a generalist who can treat patients of any age, from birth through geriatric care. If you have a specific health concern, such as an allergy, sports injury, thyroid condition , or a women's health issue, they will be able to identify that you have a health issue that needs addressing, but they will refer you to a specialist.
- Internal Medicine Physicians tend to treat adults of either gender, and they specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of diseases and chronic conditions, for example, they could treat your diabetes , heart disease, or asthma.
- General Practice Physicians are similar to family practice physicians. They will treat patients of any gender or age, and will refer you to a specialist if needed. There are two types of General Practice Physicians: The M.D., or the D.O. The D.O. standards for Doctor of Osteopathy, and they are uniquely trained in a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the musculoskeletal system.
Choosing Your Primary Care Physician
One of the most important collaborative relationships in your life is that of yours with your doctor. In choosing your primary care physician, you will want to ask for friends and family for a referral. Once you have a list of names, you will need to identify if your doctor is in-network on your healthcare plan. Your insurance will dictate whom you can choose for your medical care. If the doctor does not accept your insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket to use that primary care physician.
You will also want to factor in the doctor's office location, as well as which hospital they're affiliated with. If you are hospitalized for any reason, you want to be geographically accessible to your immediate family, and be satisfied with the quality of the hospital care.
Once you've identified a good primary care physician, visit their office. Here are things to consider:
- How far in advance must you book an appointment? Are they accessible if you have an urgent medical matter?
- Is their office calm or chaotic? Clean? Well organized?
- How does the office and medical staff treat you?
- Does this primary care physician have a good bedside manner? Is this doctor attentive? Does he or she closely listen to your medical concerns?
- Do they use an outside lab or do they perform tests on site?
- Does the staff process insurance claims, or do they require you pay up front and process your own insurance claims?
- Does this doctor do a good job of following up with you after your appointment?
- Is this doctor willing to refer you to a specialist if needed?
If you've run through this mental checklist and you're satisfied that the primary care physician has met your criteria, you have a sound medical home for your primary care.
Request more information about primary care physicians today. Call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
A Better You MediSpa & Wellness
Address525 Main Street
Laurel, MD 20707
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm