Primary Care Additional Information
An internal medicine physician specializes in whole-body care for adults. Also called internists, primary care physicians (PCPs), or general practitioners, these doctors focus on the interactions of all your body systems and know how to help you with just about every complaint you may have: from asthma to arthritis, headaches to high blood pressure, and dizziness to diabetes.
A MedStar Health PCP is your best asset when it comes to living a strong, healthy life. Each provides routine preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment for problems from the common to the not-so-common. MedStar internists also teach healthy lifestyles choices, emphasizing wellness rather than illness. With education and assistance on diet, exercise, mental health, and stress reduction, among others—plus the compassionate attention of a doctor every step of the way—the MedStar Health community can be healthy from head to toe.
PCPs are specially trained to serve as a patient's main doctor over the course of many years. Although your health plan may not require you to have a PCP, having one offers several advantages. Your PCP gets to know you, your family history, and your medical history—knowing this about your overall health, he or she can offer the best treatment advice. And, because your PCP keeps track of your screenings, he or she can remind you to schedule them, which can help detect problems earlier.
What if I need to see a specialist?
Since MedStar Health internal medicine physicians treat just about every part of a body, they are experts into directing you to a specialist, should you ever need to see one. Not only that, they can manage and guide your care, explain your options, and make recommendations based on their familiarity with your needs, even when other doctors get involved.
How do I choose an internist/PCP?
Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time—and is the first person you call if you have a health problem—so it is important to select someone with whom you can have a comfortable and honest relationship.
It’s a good idea to choose a doctor who listens carefully to your concerns, explains things clearly and fully, shows respect for you, and anticipates your health problems. The doctor also should allow you to ask questions and should provide answers that you can understand.
You want to make sure your internist/PCP is board certified. This means—like MedStar Health’s board-certified physicians—they have had training after medical school and passed an examine certifying them as specialists in their field.
It’s also a good idea to ask:
- What insurance do you accept?
- Who sees patients when you are out of town?
- How long does it take to get an appointment for a routine visit?
- How long does it take to get an appointment for urgently needed care?
MedStar Health primary care/internal medicine physicians are not just doctors—they are your partners in health care, committed to providing you and your family with the best care.
For more help on selecting a doctor, read this.