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5 Types of Primary Care Doctors in CT

5 Types of Primary Care Doctors in CT

By: Physicians Alliance of Connecticut

Finding the right primary care doctor is an important part of staying healthy. Your primary care doctor is usually your first call when you are experiencing a health issue and they also serve as the main point of contact for other members of your healthcare team. 

If you are new to Connecticut or have recently had a change in insurance, you might be evaluating primary care doctors in CT to find one that is right for you. When starting this process, it’s important to understand the distinct types of primary care providers and how they can help you manage your specific healthcare needs.

What services does a primary care doctor provide?

A primary care doctor—also called a primary care physician or primary care provider—is a doctor who directly provides or coordinates healthcare services for patients. Primary care doctors are also sometimes called general practitioners because they cover different types of health concerns. During an annual health checkup, your primary care doctor will learn about your current health, medical history, and your family’s medical history. 

Your primary care doctor can also provide you with tips on how to prevent disease, as well as make sure you are up-to-date with vaccinations. Primary care providers will also suggest recommended screenings, such as mammograms, and provide referrals to specialists, as needed.  

Why you need to establish care with a primary care doctor 

Establishing care with a primary care doctor is critical for your overall health and well-being. A 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that patients who had primary care had a better overall experience with their healthcare than those who did not receive primary care. 

Patients with primary care also received significantly more high-value care than those without primary care. This includes cancer screenings, recommended diagnostic and preventive testing, counseling, diabetes care, and medical treatment. Patients with primary care also filled more prescriptions and were more likely to have a routine preventive visit in the past year. 

Even if you are healthy, it’s still important to visit your primary care physician regularly. The health screenings you get from your primary care provider can catch potential health problems before they become severe. 

Types of primary care doctors in CT 

There are different types of primary care doctors with each having a different background and area of focus, so choosing one will depend on your specific health needs. 

  • Internal medicine doctors

Internal medicine doctors, also known as internists, primarily care for adult patients. They specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and managing diseases and chronic conditions. They also focus on health promotion, which enables patients to increase control over their health. 

Internists have a deep knowledge of the entire human body and are able to treat a host of conditions. They look at the big picture of a patient’s health and are able to make recommendations that are tailored to the patient’s current situation. 

  • Pediatricians

pediatrician diagnoses and treats children’s health conditions, as well as any concerns around physical, behavioral, developmental, or mental health issues.  Pediatricians typically treat patients up to the age of 18 or 21. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics discouraged establishing an upper age limit for pediatric care in 2017. A patient may continue going to a pediatrician depending on their physical and mental needs. 

Pediatricians have specialized training that helps them recognize and treat illnesses that affect children and adolescents. They are also able to relate well with children and put them at ease, making it less scary for kids to visit the doctor. 

  • Family medicine doctors

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, family physicians are the only specialists who are qualified to treat most ailments. Unlike internal medicine doctors, family medicine doctors provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages. As a concept, family medicine is built around the social unity of a family instead of a specific patient population or organ system. 

  • OB-GYNs (obstetrics and gynecology)

Obstetricians and gynecologists, or OB/GYNs, specialize in the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth. They also diagnose and treat diseases of the female reproductive organs. OB/GYNs also specialize in women’s health issues like menopause, contraceptives, and infertility. Although OB/GYNs can act as primary care providers, some women may prefer to keep them separate. 

  • Internal medicine-pediatric doctors (med-peds)

Internal medicine pediatric doctors are experts in both internal medicine and pediatrics. Similar to family medicine doctors, they can treat patients throughout their entire lifespan. Their training allows them to treat a broad range of conditions. They are also uniquely suited to help adults with health conditions that began in childhood.

How to find primary care doctors in CT

The relationship you have with your primary care physician is the cornerstone of your healthcare experience. No matter which type of provider you choose, it is important to be clear about your health goals and make sure you are actively engaged in your care. 

Finding a primary care doctor in Connecticut can be a tall order if you don’t know where to look. Fortunately, PACT Primary Care is currently accepting new patients. You can use the searchable provider directory to find a physician near you, or request an appointment online.  

PACT Primary Care is Accepting New Patients!

Locations throughout Connecticut in Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, Orange, West Haven, and Wallingford. 

To schedule an appointment, request an appointment online here or call a local center near you.

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