General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Family Doctor vs. Internist - Which is best for me?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15608points) February 17th, 2013 from iPhone

I need to get established with a doctor I can see whenever I have an issue or just need a physical. I haven’t had a primary care doctor since I was seeing a pediatrician, and I’m now 23, so I need to change that.

We have a chain of family practices that are connected to our major hospital, but I feel like they see so many people that they couldn’t care less about individual patients. I want a doctor that knows his stuff and gives a crap about his patients.

It was recommended for me to see an internist instead. If I call an internal medicine office to establish myself with a primary care doctor, will they just tell me I need a family doctor, or do internists commonly serve as PCPs as well? I do t want to sound like an idiot when I call around tomorrow.

I’m a horrible hypochondriac and I constantly think I’m dying of cancer, so I want to pick the best kind of doctor to deal with my issues and refer me (possibly to mental health if I am deemed physically healthy) if need be. Which type of physician would be best for me?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve worked with LNP and General Practioners. Both have done well for me. I would say find a good group of practicioners and go from there. If you have an emergency you want more than one option.

Rarebear's avatar

Either would be fine.

Unbroken's avatar

I had to have referral to my internist who is my pcp though he doesn’t handle my girlie issues.

It is nice to have a history with a physician though. I think you should pick one you can communicate well with. No matter what the topic is.

I actually found naturopaths spend more time and get to treat you like a person instead of an item on the assembly line.

They are in my experience very practical and don’t rule out traditional medicine, many have a MD or LPN or something as well as an NP. But the laws of the state might restrict their ability to prescribe.

And most people I talk to have insurance that covers it.

JLeslie's avatar

Either are fine. Internists are PCP’s. It really is going to come down to who you click with. I think personality and rapport will matter a lot since you are a hypochondriac. You might do fine with a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant even. Depends on your specific health issues. I hope you can find someone you feel comfortable with.

There are internists in some states that do kind of an elite service, I don’t remember what it is called, where you pay them a yearly fee, probably charged monthly actually, and they are kind of at your service, they have a much smaller clientelle, they are on top of specialists you have seen, but I doubt they take insurance. Maybe insurance covers some tests and procedures.

I once asked a Q here about PCP doctors and I was surprised how many people were happy with theirs. I really should focus on developing a relationship with one maybe.

Rarebear's avatar

@JLeslie It’s called concierge medicine. Family doctors do it too.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s it, concierge. Thanks.

augustlan's avatar

My PCP is an internist who operates pretty much the same as a family doctor. I’ve been with him for a long time, and feel very comfortable with his level of care and knowledge of my particular history.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther