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.
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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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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 :.
Londaisha :.
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
The doctor is brilliant!!!
Tyrone H.
Tyrone H.
19:15 21 Apr 22
Very nice always very professional
Madeline C.
Madeline C.
15:38 19 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
Great place to get checked. The staff very professional, they take care of you on your appointment time and the clinic is very clean. My Doctor was great!!
Katty R.
Katty R.
10:43 18 Mar 22
My 1st time going here. All of the staff was friendly and helpful. I loved that I didn’t have to schedule an appointment to go somewhere else for ultrasound. I did 3 things in 1 day and the wait was ok
ivy b
ivy b
20:48 10 Mar 22
good service and everything was very fast no complaints I liked the place
Carmen W.
Carmen W.
18:50 07 Mar 22
It is great office with a best gynecologist Dr Yelena Tsyba
Simon L.
Simon L.
18:40 04 Mar 22
Very good. Attentive staff
Alla T.
Alla T.
22:26 01 Mar 22
Wonderful staff and excellent service
Ramar A.
Ramar A.
22:08 01 Mar 22
Very Professional
Ashlee W.
Ashlee W.
17:35 24 Feb 22
Very amazing service.
Natevia H.
Natevia H.
21:47 23 Feb 22
A++ Service. Great atention to issues and promt call at appointment time👍🏻
Ludo A
Ludo A
16:02 23 Feb 22
My first time visiting this practice. They were very through, from intake, which was done by a Dr. that I assumed was a nurse because he was so young lol. I wound up seeing Jaime who is a GYN NP, she was awesome. They asked a lot of questions about my history, which I really appreciated. Labs and Sonogram are done on-site. I will be returning.
Shay S.
Shay S.
17:25 18 Feb 22
Very nice place with very nice people the place is clean and quiet I love it there
Dj Shabba U.
Dj Shabba U.
01:44 18 Feb 22
Very well cared for. Doctors, nurses, & receptionist are wonderful
Joy H.
Joy H.
21:59 17 Feb 22
Very caring knowledgeable doctor highly recommend!
Alona K.
Alona K.
00:36 05 Feb 22
Great place to come for a Covid test. Everything went pretty quick. Results definitely weren’t ready in 15 min but, the clinic was very, very busy, so it’s understandable. The lady who sits in the middle was very professional, polite and very helpful. Would highly recommend this place!
Lynn In The C.
Lynn In The C.
19:51 03 Feb 22
Actively listened to my concerns and believed me when I said somethings not right. Did not brush me off. And focus on finding the cause to my issues. I definitely recommend. Very clean place.
justina R.
justina R.
16:40 03 Feb 22
Very good Doctor and excellent assistants!
Haydee
Haydee
14:15 29 Jan 22
Hello!Today was our first visit, I liked how doctor Tsyba is explaining to us about my daughter’s women health issue. Also I hope doctor will properly treat her/ my daughter. I’ll update later the results.Thank you,Norah & Maftuna.
Nora K.
Nora K.
19:03 28 Jan 22
Good attention, but they should follow the appointments schedule. I saw the doctor almost an hour later
Umma
Umma
17:17 26 Jan 22
I’ve been going to this doctor’s office for yrs I’m very pleased with my pcp doctor Marly Grana she’s always kind hearted.
Angel's E.
Angel’s E.
20:37 19 Jan 22
Great customer service from the entire team.
Mohammed S.
Mohammed S.
19:27 19 Jan 22
Dr Tsyba is the best doctor I ever knew. Very professional service and so nice stuff!
Vika
Vika
23:36 18 Jan 22
Great doctor and amazing team.
ROEZEN BY R.
ROEZEN BY R.
19:58 14 Jan 22
My experience at your facility was excellent. Your staff members treated me with courtesy and professionalism. Staff members were very friendly and polite. I was contacted within 8hrs of my visit. Thank you for your service.
Alonzo T.
Alonzo T.
23:53 05 Jan 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.
17:31 05 Jan 22
Great accomodation. Fast and expedient service. Very proffesional.
Jose C.
Jose C.
20:54 03 Jan 22
I had an pleasant experience there . The medical addressed my medical request in an timely manner.
Tyrone M.
Tyrone M.
00:00 28 Dec 21
Great service ! Fast process and no waiting
Fatima S.
Fatima S.
20:47 22 Dec 21
Excellent doctor. Very professional and attentive
Marina Y.
Marina Y.
01:03 22 Dec 21
I’ve been going to Great City Medical for year’s and they are very professional, my Medical and GYN doctors are the best doctors I’ve never had a problem.
Debbie K.
Debbie K.
19:56 15 Dec 21
I thank for finally give my A1C count. I was told I had diabetic in December 2020 at Langone on pine and wall street. I then had a MRI at Corneil Hospital to find out what seizure came back after 15 years while working. I had stress after lost my job. See you January 4 AM hours
Bevelynn T.
Bevelynn T.
15:36 15 Dec 21
La atención de primera recomendado
Martha F.
Martha F.
18:34 09 Nov 21
Came in for immigration medical. Really great staff. They are prompt, proactive and kind!
Aarthi R.
Aarthi R.
23:02 26 Oct 21
They are very welcoming and professional. I can recommend my family and friends.
Bassa N
Bassa N
20:58 14 Oct 21
All the staff members and the doctors are wonderful , competent and kind
Ayne M.
Ayne M.
18:16 14 Oct 21
Front Desk employees are amazing! Very polite, nice and helpful. Dr. Akselrud is the best doctor becausehe LISTENS to all my concert and patiently explains everything to me. Thank you Dr. Akselrud!
Andra T.
Andra T.
21:58 12 Oct 21
Quick, professional and great prices
Jose H.
Jose H.
21:48 12 Oct 21
I was very pleased with this facility. I didn’t have to wait, the nurse and doctor were quite human (vs bureaucratic), and I felt seen and listened to.
Kim P.
Kim P.
17:59 17 Sep 21
Both employees who attended me were very helpful and quick to assist me.
Caro O.
Caro O.
17:26 17 Sep 21
Great City Medical clinic helped me file my green card immigration medical exam form. The team is very knowledgeable and flexible. I scheduled my appointment within one week and got the report quickly. Due to some personal health issues, I had to update my report two days before the interview, and the team helped me correct the form with no extra cost within one day! I really appreciated it and highly recommended having your medical exam report done quickly and professionally with the Great City Medical team.
Hao W.
Hao W.
20:49 16 Sep 21
Very efficient.
Black D.
Black D.
19:12 16 Sep 21
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Copyright © 2020 Great City Medical. All Rights Reserved.