When choosing a primary care physician, you may be wondering what the difference is between a family medicine doctor and a general practitioner. You may be asking yourself which one is right for your basic medical needs, and if you can find a physician that provides senior primary care with genuine kindness. While both types of doctors have many similarities, there are a few details that set these physicians apart.
A family medicine doctor provides overall health and wellness care to all patients irrespective of their age. On the other hand, a general practitioner is a doctor who treats illnesses and provides preventive care. They examine patients, diagnose common illnesses, and administer or prescribe appropriate treatment. However, general practitioners are not limited to any specific branch of medicine or class of diseases.
As your first point of contact, a general practitioner doctor can serve as your primary care physician. If or when you need a specialist, they can refer you to one.
How a General Practitioner Can Help You
To become a general practitioner, a candidate must complete four years of medical school, followed by three to seven years of residency. Then, they must apply for certification from a medical organization such as the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and/or American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS). They also undergo additional training that qualifies them to provide continuing care to anyone regardless of age or gender.
As your primary care physician, a general practitioner is qualified to provide care that is best suited to your needs. That includes:
- Thorough assessments and physical examinations
- Treatment for injuries and illnesses
- Minor wound care
- Ongoing treatment and management for chronic conditions
- Care during pregnancy
- Healthcare for children, adults, and seniors
- Preventive health and well-being services
- Health screenings for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions
- Prescriptions for medications
- Vaccinations and immunizations
- Referrals, coordination, and oversight when specialty care is required.
A general practitioner is trained in the early detection of medical conditions, which can significantly improve the likelihood of successful treatment when a disease is caught in its initial stages. Also, a general practitioner can attend to your urgent care needs.
General Practitioner Near You in South and Central Florida
A general practitioner can offer many primary care services, but it is important to have a primary care physician that you can trust and with whom you feel most comfortable and confident. That’s where the dedicated healthcare professionals at Palm Medical Centers can help.
Our board-certified general practitioners at Palm Medical Centers have brought genuine kindness to senior primary care for 10 years. We offer premier primary care for seniors 65 and over, and we accept most Medicare Advantage plans. With our numerous locations throughout Central and South Florida, you can likely find a location within 3 miles of your home. There you will find professional staff, attentive doctors, and compassionate and knowledgeable care coaches that are dedicated to the needs of our patients. We have a 98% patient satisfaction rate so you know you’ll be in good hands.