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Can a Gynecologist Be Your Primary Care Physician?

6 mins read

Most experts recommend that women have both an annual physical and yearly visit to the gynecologist to ensure their overall health and wellbeing. However, it can seem overwhelming to keep track of so many doctor visits throughout the year. If you’re worried about frequently going to the doctor, you might wonder if it’s possible to combine your yearly checkups into one with a visit to your NYC gynecologist.

Generally speaking, it’s best to have both a primary care physician and a gynecologist. This is because gynecologists and ob/gyns specialize in women’s health and may not provide care for more general medical conditions. Having both a primary care doctor and a gynecologist is a great way to build a health team prepared to assist you in all stages of your life.

Keep reading to find out how gynecologists and primary care physicians differ and how you can make the most of your regular healthcare visits with them.

The differences between a Gynecologist and a primary care physician 

Gynecologists and primary care physicians have different specialties that help them treat their patients. Here is what you need to know about these specific doctors so you can tell the differences between them. 

Gynecologist or OB/GYN

Gynecologists are doctors that focused on women’s health, or gynecology, during their residency after medical school. These doctors can cover a wide range of women’s health concerns, from prescribing contraception to regular checkups and hormonal monitoring.

Gynecologists may share their practices with obstetricians, who focus on pregnancy, labor, and delivery. These doctors can provide pre-pregnancy health checks, such as ultrasounds of the ovaries and uterus, or consultations throughout pregnancy. Your obstetrician will likely work with you throughout your entire pregnancy and may even deliver your baby.

Primary Care Doctors

Primary care physicians (or PCPs, which most people call them) are doctors with the broadest range of specialization. Most primary care doctors focus on internal medicine or family medicine as a specialty, which gives them the versatility to be a one-stop-shop for most healthcare needs. 

Most people will go to their PCP before seeing a specialist when something goes wrong. That’s because these general practitioners can handle anything from a cold to diabetes and joint pain. However, a primary care doctor’s real value comes from yearly physical exams where they can offer preventative services like monitoring vital signs and cholesterol screenings.

Pediatricians are specialized primary care doctors for children, but they can provide medical guidance for the whole family as family medicine doctors. These medical professionals can provide vaccinations and immunizations for common illnesses like chickenpox or measles. Regular visits to your child’s pediatrician are a great way to build a robust medical history that can help them later in life.

Should I have a primary care physician and a gynecologist?

While there may seem to be some overlap between primary care physicians and gynecologists, it’s typically a good idea to have both of them as part of your care team. Since these two doctors are relatively specialized, they provide the best care when performing services in their specialty.

Having both a PCP and a gynecologist helps ensure that all of your specific care needs are met before they become more significant health issues. 

Should I see a gynecologist or regular doctor?

If you’re not sure what kind of doctor you should see, there are a few things you can consider before making your appointment. Are you interested in getting advice regarding birth control, menopause, or other reproductive health concerns? In that case, you should reach out to an ob/gyn.

Suppose you’re worried about something more general, such as a cold, or are interested in a yearly physical, or are looking for more general medical advice. In that case, it might be best to visit a primary care physician or general practitioner. 

You shouldn’t worry about picking the wrong doctor when it comes to medical care. If you accidentally go to the wrong doctor, it’s generally not a big deal. Both general practitioners and ob/gyns can provide referrals to another specialist to ensure you get the best care. For example, while primary care providers may provide some guidance during pregnancy, they are not experts. Your doctor may suggest you follow-up with an ob/gyn for more specialized care, like monitoring fetal development or testing for genetic defects.

Similarly, your gynecologist may recognize that you have high blood pressure while taking your vital signs during an appointment. Since they do not specialize in internal medicine outside of women’s health, they may refer you to an internist to ensure that there is no underlying cause of heart disease. Your gynecologist may also refer you to a dermatologist if they notice a rash during a physical exam.

Can a primary care physician do a pap smear?

Some primary care physicians can do exams that a gynecologist would typically do during your yearly physical. If you’re interested in getting a pelvic exam or pap smear as part of your regular wellness check, ask your doctor if they provide that service. 

Typically, a family practice doctor will provide these services if they see younger patients. However, if they tend to work with older patients, they may not offer these services. It’s important to ask a general practitioner if they will perform well-woman exams, such as breast cancer screenings, pelvic exams, and pap smears, before building a relationship with them, so you know what to expect during your yearly visits.

Even if your PCP does provide these services, you should still consider having a full-time gynecologist specializing in women’s healthcare. If any of the test results done by your general practitioner come back suspicious, your doctor may refer you for a gynecological consultation for further investigation. 

Your health can’t be guaranteed by just one doctor, which is why you need both a gynecologist and a primary care physician. While your gynecologist can give you great insights into your health, you still need a PCP to provide guidance for more general health issues. Many women have a closer relationship with their gynecologist than their PCP, making it attractive to use them as their sole medical professional. 

It’s important to realize that even the best ob/gyn may have limited resources when treating conditions outside of reproductive health. Going to a gynecologist for chest pains or a cold is not ideal, and you might not get the best care. That’s why you need to have a full team of health professionals in your corner to ensure that you get the best care possible.

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Elena Tsyba is a great specialist! All personal was very nice!! Thank you.
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Excellent service it’s a lot better than what it used to be and I am grateful for that.. doctor is wonderful.. and the PCA’s that work there are the best all of the women are caring and patient.. they make you feel welcomed.. Dr Marly Granna is the best .. you don’t meet doctors like her anymore these days 🙇‍♂️🙏
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This place is amazing because of the ladies and doctors that work there. They are an amazing group of people! They are professional, friendly and courteous! I reccomend this clinic to everyone, great place and convenient.To all the staff; thank you for all the hard work that you do!
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I was seen by Dr Marley Grana gentle, attentive listener and warm. Coupled with her knowledge and ability to explain in simple language so that you understand. I would recommend her to anyone.
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Carol D.
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Excellent condition and service the nurses and the staff are very friendly and helpful and the doctor are great
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Olga lucía Bastidas H.
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Very efficient…smooth and timely service.The staff was very Professional. I would Recommend this place for GC Medical over another in New York
Von D.
Von D.
21:27 06 May 24
I have been through a lot and not been able to care for myself for a while. Today I saw my doctor and was able to get the care started that I need. The staff made me feel human and even moved my appointment up to see me sooner. Great City Medical thank you and God bless you all.
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Exelente como siempre
Vicky I.
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Great City Medical you are the bestest best.. Your staff is excellent …Thank you each & everyone for your kind patience ✨️ 💛 mucho ❤️…
Tyra S.
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20:26 17 Apr 24
The stuff was extremely friendly and polite. One of the nicest experiences I had in a medical office.
Anna P.
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Great Service
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My experience has been getting better over the years I’ve been coming to this location!!
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Muy buen servicio
Charley B.
Charley B.
17:49 09 Apr 24
Today was my first visit ever .. Everything was so professional from check in to the last .. I will be going here and making this my gyn office 🩷Professionalism is 10/10
Desiree C
Desiree C
18:11 08 Apr 24
DR TYSBA IS THE BEST GYN IN THE WORLD. I HAVE BEEN TO A LOT WITHIN MY 50 YEARS AND SHES TOP SHELF!
Shay H.
Shay H.
15:36 08 Apr 24
Their professionalism makes for a pleasant, medical experience.Grateful to have Dr. Grana, as my primary care physician.
rockerto video R.
rockerto video R.
12:58 04 Apr 24
Clean 🧽 and fresh clinicPoliteness of each employee toward each other and respectability for patientsShort and brief application for new patient
Maria M.
Maria M.
22:57 27 Mar 24
Always a good service and kind people over there. I have been going to there for over 5 years and I had good service with good doctors. Thank you for all the staff.
Yaneth P.
Yaneth P.
18:52 27 Mar 24
My first time at this location, availability is always open. Staff and doctor were very pleasant and attentive. Sign- in was quick and easy! If your looking for a gynecologist this is your place.
Jennifer P.
Jennifer P.
15:45 27 Mar 24
A very friendly and attentive staff. Everything was practical and quick. Affordable prices. I’ll definitely be back for more procedures!
Marina P.
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15:41 27 Mar 24
Fue un excelente servicio ☺️
Carolina M.
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13:27 26 Mar 24
The staff,Nursees and Doctor is of utmost professional quality and care
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Charles J J.
20:33 25 Mar 24
Today was my first visit to the office. All staff were very pleasant and thoughtful. The level of professionalism is top tier. I feel welcomed and secured in the knowledge given by the physicians. Looking forward to making this my forever gyn office. Definitely different from the rest!
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20:09 25 Mar 24
DR.GRANA IS THE BEST
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18:32 25 Mar 24
The Whole staff were friendly and very helpful, I didn’t have an appointment but they saw me the same day! From the Receptionist, nurses and Doctor… Great Job TEAM!
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18:12 25 Mar 24
Muy buenos servicios, tanto en el front desk como en el personal médico . Excelente servicio, mucha amabilidad. 😍🥰
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22:18 20 Mar 24
Le doy la Gracias a Dios por a verlo encontrado es la mejor Ginecologa que conozco estoy feliz con ella mi doctora favorita Gracias 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Allalive C.
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17:53 14 Mar 24
Great visit with a great Doctor!She makes time to listen to my concerns and goes even further to answer all of my questions.Overall experience was 10 out of 10!!!
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Everything was great, excellent service
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Excellent service from the beginning to understand all the process, solve questions and doubts. The CRM is excellent, and the medical exams are really efficient. The doctors and their staff are so kind and professional. I had my first visit on Monday, and on Friday, I got all the results. Excellent service, highly recommended.
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16:22 16 Feb 24
At first it was hard getting through to Great City by phone. I soon discovered the chat. I was verily informed about everything from the costs right down to the procedure, that being examination for immigration purposes. I was kept up to date by Antony all the way up until it was time to pick up my form. The staff were very friendly as well. I should also mention too that the cost was the most inexpensive out of all the places I checked.
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Escelente
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Me gustó muy atentos
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Excellent service and nice personal🤗
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Very safe space , quick and give you all the answer’s you need
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Great place, nice people. Good attitude Very helpful
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20:36 31 Jan 24
I like this little clinic a lot! Very friendly stuff, Dr. Grana seems to be a very professional. Been going there for almost a year now. Highly recommend!
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Yulya Y.
19:35 31 Jan 24
Staff was professional, courteous and informed me of anything along the way. I would definitely go back. I also waited 5 min before being seen on a Monday morning.
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22:22 29 Jan 24
Great experience each time I go . Professional clean and very respectful office. Staff always pleasant. Doctors very caring.
Juanita R.
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19:30 24 Jan 24
I am so appreciate Dr. Tsyba and the whole team. You are the best 👌
Alla M.
Alla M.
23:05 22 Jan 24
Las atenciones excelentes, desde informacion y registro, tanto como el personal medico, solo deben mejorar el tiempo de espera para ls citas.
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00:10 17 Jan 24
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01:04 11 Jan 24
From the front desk to the medical assistant, to the lab, and down to the doctor and whoever you passed by, it was excellent customer service. It was topnotch. I think the entire staff took extra customer service classes.
ibro D.
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Todos muy amable y comprometido por la salud del paciente .ame este grupo
Veronica R.
Veronica R.
17:56 26 Dec 23
They are very nice and friendly. The appointment didn’t take too long. The only thing I didn’t like is that I’m a transgender woman and all the time they used masculine pronouns which makes me feel uncomfortable. They could just try to be neutral or call me by my name instead.
jose
jose
15:53 22 Dec 23
El trato de todo el personal es excelente
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19:53 20 Dec 23
Great service. The intake with the nurse was pleasant and fun. The time with the doctor was very comfortable, she listened very attentivet all my concerns, she was very gentle and professional.They have late afternoon appointments wich is a plus.The final step was the scheduling of the next appointment wich was fast!My mom was right to recommend her and I recommend them as well.
Juana G.
Juana G.
22:31 19 Dec 23
No long wait times staff is professional and pleasant Doctors are amazing and very knowledgeable
Denise C.
Denise C.
14:43 19 Dec 23
Excelente las atenciones y un personal medico de primera
Carlos F.
Carlos F.
18:11 15 Dec 23
Stagg was friendly doctor listen and communicated clearly….overall good experience
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Ayasia K.
12:56 12 Dec 23
Everyone was very positive and reassuringly guided us through a rather complicated process. A great shoutout to Patricia for going above and beyond to make everything less stressful for us.
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Ntani G.
12:10 12 Dec 23
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