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Primary Care Doctors Keep You Healthy at All Ages

Internal medicine, family medicine and pediatricians are all primary care doctors

It’s important for you to have a primary care doctor, whether you are someone who gets sick often or can’t remember the last time you were sick.

When you feel well, your primary care doctor helps keep you healthy with regular physical exams, immunizations and health education. You can count on your primary care doctor to let you know if you need to get a flu shot or tests like a heart or cancer screening.

Internal medicine, family medicine and pediatricians are all primary care doctors.

  • Pediatricians treat newborns and children up to age 21 to help them stay healthy physically, mentally and socially.
  • Family medicine doctors are trained to treat patients of all ages, from birth through old age.
  • Internal medicine doctors treat adult patients starting at age 18.

See your primary care doctor first

If you are sick or get injured, your primary care doctor is there to diagnose and treat your condition. Your primary care doctor is your first stop for all your medical concerns that are not emergencies, such as:

  • Colds vs. flu: If you have a sore throat or chest cold symptoms, your primary care doctor determines if you have a cold or the flu.
  • Infections: Primary care doctors diagnose and treat common infections of the ear, eye, bladder, and more.
  • Upset stomach: Your primary care doctor can help find the cause of your stomach upset, or if you need to see a doctor who specializes in stomach conditions.
  • Chronic disease care: Primary care doctors manage conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Care management: If you need to see a medical specialist, your primary doctor directs you to the appropriate specialty doctor. He or she makes sure that:
    • Treatments you receive are the right ones for you
    • Medications you are given work well together
    • Doctors who care for you know about your other medical problems

When you have a primary care doctor, you will always know that you are cared for by a doctor who knows you and understands all of your medical needs.

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