What is a Primary Care Doctor?

What is a Primary Care Doctor?

February 16, 2021
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Spend a few minutes reading up on the world of health care and you’ll come across this phrase: a primary care doctor. And the phrase itself makes sense. A primary care doctor is someone you see first when you have a problem, or to get a routine check-up.

It’s when you toss in the other words that things get confusing for patients. Who are “internists”? Is a primary care provider different than a primary care physician? Where do pediatrics fit in? And what happens when your health insurance doesn’t offer the coverage for routine checkups with your primary care physician? Let’s answer these questions to make sense of all the different words you’re likely to encounter.

 

What is the Difference Between a Primary Care Physician and a Family Doctor?

A “family doctor” is a doctor who doesn’t specialize in either children or adults. For example, a doctor who specializes in children is known as a pediatrician. Typically, a primary care doctor for “adults” is known as someone in internal medicine. But specializing in family medicine means that the doctor doesn’t specialize in either/or. They’re capable of seeing both adult and child patients. “Family medicine” refers to the practice of examining and treating both age groups.

What about the phrase “primary care doctor”? This refers to the doctor with whom the patient has the most immediate relationship for basic care. For example, a child can have a primary care doctor who is also a pediatrician or a family medicine doctor. Similarly, an adult can have a primary care doctor who specializes in internal medicine or is a family medicine doctor.

 

What Does a Primary Care Doctor Do?

A primary care doctor can help with preventative care and other basic health care needs. Unless you have an emergency, they’re the ones you see first if you have an issue that you need remedied.

Think of the primary care doctor as your first line of defense in the battle to maintain wellness. They’re the ones you see for checkups, or even during the management of your long-term chronic conditions. If you do have medical needs that venture outside their realm of expertise, they can then offer you a referral to a specialist who can pay closer attention to your specific issues.

 

Why is Primary Care So Important?

There isn’t one particular reason; instead, there are all sorts of reasons that primary care can be so important.

 

  • Preventative care. There’s an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s certainly the case with many ailments. Having a good relationship with your primary care doctor will help ensure that they’re aware of your issues, and that they can step in and offer preventative care when necessary.
  • A primary care doctor, especially one who handles family medicine, can advise you on the immunizations you or a child may need in certain situations. They can help you navigate the complex world of medical history and medical conditions to understand what your best options for prevention may be.
  • Patient-specific needs. When you have specific needs due to your individual medical status, those are very private needs. No patient wants to constantly switch between gynecologists or internal medicine doctors, after all. To do so can be counterproductive to good care. It also makes navigating the world of medicine much more difficult for each patient.
  •  

Why is Primary Care so Important?

 

Patients of all ages require a primary care physician. For someone young, that may be a doctor who focuses on a family practice. For someone old, it may refer to a geriatrician. But the point is simple: it’s good to have a primary care physician that you can depend on. Someone who knows your history, knows you, and understands what’s important when it comes to your treatment.

 

There’s a temptation to view primary care physicians as “generalists.” People who might not know as much about specific health conditions that you might suffer from. And in many cases, that is true. There is a reason a primary care physician is typically not someone who specializes in a specific type of ailment, or a specific type of patient. Their role is to handle a wider range of knowledge, and then hand over a referral when necessary.

 

It’s also important for you to have some confidence in the people you work with. It’s your health, after all. As you familiarize yourself with your primary care physician, they can handle relatively routine problems like high blood pressure. You’ll get to know their offices and their office hours. As you build familiarity, the entire process of having a routine checkup will feel that much more natural to you.

 

Understanding Other Words in the Medical Field

Because there are so many terms thrown about these days, it’s important for patients to have a clear understanding of who does what. The more you know about these terms, the better you’ll be able to grasp the different quirks of getting your own health taken care of. Let’s look at some of these:

 

  • OB-GYN: This stands for Obstetrics and gynecology.
  • Obstetricians: Separate from an OB-GYN. As WebMD notes, a gynecologist is a doctor specializing in the reproductive health of women. Obstetricians help women during their pregnancy, as well as after the child is born, and can also deliver babies. An OB-GYN refers to someone who handles both specialties.
  • “Board-certified.” Board-certified refers to, according to the American Board of Medical Specialties, “specialty-specific training beyond medical licensure.” Typically this is relevant for medical specialties, and may not be as relevant when consulting with a primary care physician. In that case, a proper medical license is what you’ll want to be focused on.
  • Geriatric: This refers to the care of the elderly. There are many medical professionals who specifically handle elder care.

 

How Do You Know Which Kind of Physician is Right For You?

Between all of the terms—family doctor, primary care physician, internal medicine, etc.—it can be easy to get lost in the vast dictionary of the medical world. But when you zoom in to each individual term, you’ll see that it’s not nearly as difficult to navigate as you think.

 

One of the most important aspects to realize is that having a primary care physician will help you navigate this world. You shouldn’t, after all, be expected to handle all of the research yourself. A family doctor—or a primary care physician—can be your first point of reference for making sense of what needs to happen. It’s this person that you can bring your symptoms to when you need to report something. It’s this person who you answer your questions when you’ve been hearing about the latest medical trends.

 

In turn, a good relationship with a primary care physician means you’ll build up a level of trust and comfort over time. This not only makes you more likely to seek the care you need, but will help you make more informed decisions about your care when working with an expert you can trust. From there, you’ll have more confidence in the way you approach your health—and in the way you seek out the right health care workers to help.

 

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My experience is always top notch here! Thank you…
ALL W.
ALL W.
18:58 07 Dec 22
These team of professionals are the best, so happy they are taking care of me.
Elsa N.
Elsa N.
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They are very professional and treat with care.
Uptothe T.
Uptothe T.
19:31 05 Dec 22
I saw Dr. Yelena Tysba and she was very professional and courteous. She took her time with me and listened to my concerns. In addition, she was very gentle during my procedure and was very knowledgeable on various gynecological conditions. The ultrasound tech, Pat, was also very professional. During my ultrasound she was very kind, patient, and gentle. The two receptionist at the front desk and the nurse were also very professional while making my follow up appointment. I have been to this doctor’s office before and her diagnosis was accurate. I would recommend the GYN office to my family and friends.
Mary S.
Mary S.
22:09 01 Dec 22
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..🙇‍♂️
Thomas R.
Thomas R.
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KS K.
KS K.
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Everyone at the office is always very pleasant. The office is always clean, which is always top on my list. The doctor is always very thorough when explaining herself and also takes her time with you. I would highly recommend great city medical.
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It was a great visit.
Willie E. A.
Willie E. A.
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This is the best clinic I’ve been! The nurses and doctors treat you with kindness. They are all super friendly. Will definitely keep doing my check ups here!
Yikaury H.
Yikaury H.
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I’ve been coming here for years and my doctor shows true concern about all my health issues staff here are also great
Trina M.
Trina M.
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My visit was very quick for the first time I didn’t have to wait,
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Todos el personal es muy amable gracias
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Tony D.
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Great hospital
Fatoumata K.
Fatoumata K.
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Professional, clean, not wait depend on time schedule appointment. I love evening hours appointment that do rush morning when traffic lot cars out there. I get keep my same doctor when Montefiore Oscar because not in New York so happy that my doctor professional his work, losing 200 pounds so happy after 410 for longest time. My diabetic 2 improve so much went from 8.9 too 5.7 that very jump. So his staff for very professional, and polite with me.
Bevelynn T.
Bevelynn T.
20:38 28 Oct 22
Very professional and friendly. Offices and waiting rooms are always clean, the employees work fast and effectively. They make sure your comfortable and understand what’s going on.
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Very nice always very professional
Madeline C.
Madeline C.
23:52 25 Oct 22
The doctor is brilliant!!! And the staff will go above and beyond to help you, just be patient they have a lot of patience and you should too!!!
Tyrone H.
Tyrone H.
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Great. Wait was surprising ok. Everyone was very nice 👍 Always a pleasant experience 😊
Lex G.
Lex G.
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Great experience each time I go . Professional clean and very respectful office. Staff always pleasant. Doctors very caring.
Juanita R.
Juanita R.
17:40 05 Oct 22
Amazing staff. Little to no wait time. Worth the experience was in and out within a heart beat and all my questions and concerns were answered. MA and Doctor made me feel really comfortable. 10/10
Fatoumata K.
Fatoumata K.
22:17 04 Oct 22
Muy buena atención y el personal muy amable.
Linet Leyva B.
Linet Leyva B.
18:28 03 Oct 22
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Jonathan S.
Jonathan S.
17:15 12 Sep 22
I have a great experience this was my first time and I recommend the staff are all welcoming
Oneisha R.
Oneisha R.
19:55 09 Sep 22
I’m very happy that I choose this clinic for my medical exam for green card. I was afraid about my not perfect english and that I can’t understand everything correctly but all nurses and doctor were very patient and attentive. All procedures were made very professional and quick.
iren H.
iren H.
19:28 08 Sep 22
Very Professional Thanks
Saury G.
Saury G.
21:02 07 Sep 22
I love they how the staff was really friendly to me. Making me feel more comfortable with my visit, just love how pretty the place was and clean💕.
Andala M.
Andala M.
21:30 06 Sep 22
Always good service and kind people over there. I had 3 year’s going to there and I had good service with good doctors. Thank you for all the staff.
Yaneth P.
Yaneth P.
15:40 02 Sep 22
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.
22:07 30 Aug 22
Nice, quick, and ON TIME attention.Very clean; excellent and very kind staff.Special thanks to Patricia and to theDr. Grena.Highly recommended.
H. O. L.
H. O. L.
19:59 22 Aug 22
Muy bueno
carlos M.
carlos M.
07:18 20 Aug 22
Best plce
Mimi O.
Mimi O.
19:33 18 Aug 22
Starting from front desk very professional ladies Excellent thenTiffany very sweet I had so much anxiety & after I spoke w her I took a few deep breaths & I felt very comfortable she actually made me feel so comfortable thanks TiffanyThen Doctor Tsyba wow I couldn’t believe I didn’t feel a thing I was relaxed & she was great & then Patty sonogram very professional they all answered all my questions they’re great then I went to do blood work & the lady (I didn’t get her name) very professional.. when I encounter a place w such professionalism it makes me wanna Bragg to all females in my life Want great care, professionalism & feel comfy go to GREAT CITY MEDICAL these ladies do their job w a smile can’t wait to go back THANK YOU LADIES FOR ALL YOUR EXCELLENT WORK🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹MARY DIAZ
Ivy Deborah D.
Ivy Deborah D.
00:59 18 Aug 22
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Kyle S.
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Jose R.
Jose R.
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Buen trato y buen servicio
Clsa 0.
Clsa 0.
08:43 28 Jul 22
Dr Grana is an amazing doctor! Facility is clean and some of the staff members are super friendly.
Lile shan S.
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Jann D
Jann D
19:22 15 Jul 22
Always ❤️ Love the care I get at Great City Medical the staff and my doctor are caring and attentive to my medical issues or concerns. We work as a team to make sure I understand my results and are happy with the outcome.
M I
M I
17:53 14 Jul 22
I’ve been going to this office for primary and gyn care for 3 or 4 years now and have had an outstanding experience every time. The staff and practioners are always super welcoming, helpful, and efficient. Thank you all for everything you do! 🖤
Sarah K.
Sarah K.
22:50 13 Jul 22
Super specialists, very kind personnel.
Kacper P.
Kacper P.
20:44 13 Jul 22
Professional staff, nice atmosphere. Recommend
Yelena C.
Yelena C.
21:49 08 Jul 22
Muyyyyyy buena soy una de las primera paciente hace más de 5 años y no voy de hay hasta que dios quiera excelente servicio amabilidad y profecionalismo sigan así
Escarlet C.
Escarlet C.
16:01 06 Jul 22
Dr Yelena was amazing, she really made my visit easy and comfortable. Loved her, highly recommend!
Valentina M.
Valentina M.
18:12 24 Jun 22
Amazing customer service! Friendly and efficient! Made it fun going to the GYN!
Clara M.
Clara M.
23:28 16 Jun 22
I received the best medical treatment and follow up services at this clinic.
Dshea Kinta M.
Dshea Kinta M.
13:22 20 May 22
I was in need of a new GYNECOLOGIST. I found Great City Medical in a Google search. I spoke with a staff member after hours via live chat an was scheduled the earliest appointment very quickly. All my basic questions were answered. I was sent to patient portal link to pre-register and fill out the forms. Upon arrival I was greeted with a smile and checked in quickly, wait time was short before the nurse called me in to be triaged. I was placed in a room, which was very clean. Dr. Tsyba greeted me with a smile and was very polite and Thorough with the examination. She explained to me in detail what procedures were going to take place and what testing will be done. The staff was very Knowledgeable and helpful as a first-time patient I enjoyed my visit I highly recommend this practice.
Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.
19:00 16 May 22
The place is very nice, and people are kind and professional. The only downside is that I have waited more than I expected (even though I arrived way earlier than the scheduled time), but maybe it’s been just a coincidence. That being said, nothing else to complain about!
Elena F.
Elena F.
02:02 13 May 22
I waited about 30 min to see the Tech, then spent like 20 min with her as a new patient, then about 10 min. more to see Jaime, the NP who was available, since Dr. Tsyba was in surgery. Jaime then consulted with Dr. Tsyba. I was very satisfied with the gentle, compassionate and thorough care I received by Jaime, and the technician who performed the 2 ultrasounds I needed. I’m happy I found this OB/GYN doctor. I hope to meet Dr. Tysba soon.
Awilda R.
Awilda R.
17:44 12 May 22
They was wonderful, the front desk and even my doctors very gentle with everything they do..I felt very comfortable to open up to them about my needs and I definitely felt like I was in great hands, when it’s comes down to OBGYN’s it’s very hard finding loyalty ,honesty, and security with your doctors THIS WAS WONDERFUL..i found out everything I needed to know and I will definitely enjoy being a new patient here !!!
Londaisha B.
Londaisha B.
12:43 12 May 22
Place was valid … 💯 very respectful and calls patients in a timely manner
Leenia M.
Leenia M.
19:44 02 May 22
Me encantó la atención del personal, y sobre todo la ginecóloga Yelena Tsyba, quien fue la Dra. que fui a consulta, bueno ella es muy profesional, muy amable y gentil ; también la persona que me hizo el sonograma,todos me trataron con mucha gentileza; fue mi primera vez y quedé muy contenta satisfecha…
Sovilek O.
Sovilek O.
02:35 29 Apr 22
I have known Dr.Tsyba for many years, she sees my friends and my sister gave birth to three children with her, personally in my practice there were moments when I had to urgently go to other doctors, after which I kept returning to her. She, as like a mother, will not advise bad things and will do everything possible to help. The staff is also very responsive and polite professionally fit every patient. You feel at home confidentially. Thank you doctor for your professionalism. I wish you more assistants so that you do not get tired.
Fatima A.
Fatima A.
03:19 06 Apr 22
Great people who made me feel very comfortable for my first appointment at this establishment. Much appreciated.
Nicole De L.
Nicole De L.
16:40 04 Apr 22
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Doctor in New York City

Looking for a primary care provider in New York City that you can depend on? Make your appointment with the physicians at Great City Medical by calling (212) 281-8600

Manhattan

68e 131st Street Suite 100, New York, NY 10037

Phone: (212) 281-8600

Monday: 9am-5pm
Tuesday: 9am-5pm
Wednessday: 9am-5pm
Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-5pm


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1513 Voorhies Ave 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Phone: (212) 281-8610

Monday:9:00AM-5:00PM
Tuesday:3:00PM-7:30PM
Wednessday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
Thursday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
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68 East 131st Street, Suite 100
New York, NY 10037


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Copyright © 2020 Great City Medical. All Rights Reserved.