General Practitioners; Who Are They and When Should You See One?
Also known as internists or family doctors, general practitioners develop a continuous relationship with you to provide a continuity of care. They deal with standard medical conditions and conduct routine examinations. General practitioners can also refer you to other medical experts or medical services if you need specialized or urgent treatment. They focus on your overall well being, including physical and mental health. A general physician mainly works with a physician assistant in Gaithersburg, MD, to provide quality services.
What Does a General Practitioner Do?
If you need treatment for a mental or physical condition, you will have to see a general practitioner first. They treat patients of all ages, including newborns and geriatrics. The duties of a general practitioner include conducting physical exams and reviewing your medical history. Afterward, they may order additional tests, refer you to a specialist for advanced care, or recommend treatment. With the growing popularity of telehealth services, they can also provide consultation services via phone or video call.
When dealing with an emergency, a general practitioner can offer lifesaving treatment before the arrival of emergency services. General practitioners work with a team including pharmacists, physician assistants, psychiatrists, nurses, and more to provide holistic medical services. They play a crucial role in health education and preventative medicine.
Some of the typical roles conducted by general practitioners include:
- Routine exams
- Mental health checks
- Chronic illness care
- Reference to specialists
- Follow-up care
Reasons to Visit a General Practitioner
General practitioners can help you deal with different routines and serious conditions. There are various reasons to visit a general practitioner. They include:
Wellness exams and preventative medicine
One of the most critical roles played by general practitioners is conducting routine screenings for different health conditions. A general practitioner can help with conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Risk factors for heart disease
- Risk factors for diabetes
- Sexually transmitted diseases
They can play a vital role in the detection of health problems and preventative medicine. If you come from a family with a history of chronic illnesses, are at risk for chronic conditions, or have symptoms, you will need to get a screening from a general practitioner.
Urgent Care for Injury or Illness
Another critical role played by general practitioners is treating injuries and ailments. If you are sick, have an injury, or experience symptoms, you need to visit a general practitioner. They can use lab tests to diagnose illnesses, after which they can recommend treatment, assess your overall well being, or link you to a specialist if need be. If you have a mental health crisis, they can refer you to a mental health professional.
What to Expect When You Visit a General Practitioner
Your appointment with a general practitioner will last between 10 and 30 minutes. During the appointment, your doctor may assess your health condition, discuss your symptoms and medical history, conduct diagnostic tests, and develop a treatment plan.
In summary, general practitioners deal with standard medical conditions and conduct routine examinations. They can offer emergency medical services if you have an injury or need emergency treatment. It would be best to visit a general practitioner for urgent care or illness and wellness exams and preventative medicine.