Everyone is different, and everyone’s healthcare needs are different. But we all share the need for a primary care provider.
There are many different types of primary care providers and while choosing one can seem a daunting task, the right primary care provider for you and your family is an essential component to reach your healthcare goals.
Which is right for you?
Family Practitioners - A family practitioner is a physician who is board-certified or board-eligible in family medicine. They treat patients of all ages, and in some instances, provide obstetric and minor surgery services. Most commonly, services provided include treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, yearly physicals and routine screening and exams.
Pediatricians – A pediatrician is a physician who is board-certified or board-eligible in pediatric medicine. They treat children from infancy until they reach 18 years of age. Most commonly, services provided include treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, well child, school and sports physicals, and childhood immunizations.
Internists – An internist is a physician who is board-certified or board-eligible in internal medicine. They treat adults of any age, and most commonly, their services include treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, yearly physicals, immunizations and routine screening and exams.
Internal Medicine/Pediatrician – A physician who specializes in internal medicine/pediatrics is board-certified or board-eligible in both internal medicine and pediatrics. This unique combination allows a physician to treat patients from birth to geriatric age. Most commonly, services include treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, yearly physicals including well child, school and sports physicals, and routine screening and exams for patients of all ages.
OB/GYN or Gynecologist – A physician who is board-certified or board-eligible in either OB/GYN or gynecology. They treat only women of childbearing age or older, and often serve as the primary care provider for these women. Most commonly, services provided include gynecological services and annual exams for women, as well as obstetric services if the patient is pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
APRNs or PA-Cs – An APRN or a PA-C are providers who are trained and certified through different programs than a physician, however, they must still meet strict guidelines in order to treat patients. APRNs or PA-Cs can work in any of the above listed specialties, and often serve as a patient’s primary care provider, opposed to a physician.
In addition to determining which type of primary care provider best suits you or your family’s individual healthcare needs, there are other factors to consider including; the office location, hours and availability of the providers, the type of insurance with which the providers’ office participates; referrals from family and friends; if the providers’ approach to treatment fits your approach to treatment; and any personal preferences you may have regarding the provider you want, for example age and training background.
If you need help finding a primary care provider, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to establish care with your ideal primary care provider, please call 859.258.4DOC (4362), and our Referral Liaison will be happy to help.
Lexington Clinic is Central Kentucky's largest and oldest medical group. We have more than 200 providers in more than 30 specialties taking care of 600,000+ patients in the Lexington community since 1920.