Should I Choose an Internist as My PCP?
You want to find the primary care provider that’s right for you because you know it’s an important step towards maintaining your health. Tools such as Find a Doctor and MyChart can help you narrow the field; however, there are many highly qualified doctors to choose from in categories such as family medicine, pediatric medicine and internal medicine.
How do you know which type of doctor to choose?
Internists specialize in primary care for adults
Internists—physicians specially trained in internal medicine—focus on caring for adults 18 years or older. They can help you with preventive care, long-term care or complex diseases.
“As an internist, I try to understand the underlying processes that are causing your symptoms,” says Daniel Saha, MD. “It’s not enough for me to treat the what. I think it’s important to try to understand why and how. It’s equally important to me that YOU understand why you are doing something because then you are more likely to be successful at promoting and maintaining your health.”
Other internists who work in hospitals specialize in cardiology, oncology, nephrology or pulmonology.
When to choose an internist
Sometimes, people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes choose an internist as a primary care provider because he or she can easily coordinate with other doctors if more complex care is needed. But, people who are healthy also choose internists because they want a physician who can help them as their health needs change.
Here are some reasons you might choose an internist as your primary care doctor:
- You want a doctor that can address everything from preventive care to serious illness, but are not looking for delivery or newborn care.
- You’re an adult seeking the routine physicals, screenings and tests required to help you stay healthy.
- You’re an adult who is currently managing a chronic disease.
Remember it’s a good idea to establish a relationship with a primary care provider because he or she will help to coordinate your care. If you’re looking for a primary care provider call 800-777-7775 or use our Find A Doctor tool.