General Practitioner Summary:
A general practitioner is a medical doctor that treats patients for illnesses, whether they are long term or short term in duration. This type of doctor also offers preventive health care and patient education for maintenance of health and overall well being.
These doctors use a holistic approach to treat patients. Their patients may be healthy or may have one of multiple health care problems. The general practitioner was common in the past, but has mostly been replaced by newer titles such as the family doctor and the primary care physician.
General practitioners treat both acute and chronic illnesses of nearly every type that do not require the services of a specialist. While the medical issues treated by these doctors may be exhaustive, some of these conditions may include:
and many, many more.
General practitioners can obtain additional qualifications in areas such as adolescent medicine and geriatric medicine. Others include hospice, sleep medicine, and sports medicine.
Procedures and Treatments:
General practitioners use interviews combined with a physical examination to make a diagnosis or to check up on continuing health and wellness. These doctors may recommend or perform lab procedures such as taking blood and performing x-rays. General practitioners may prescribe medications and offer nutrition and activity advice, in addition to making recommendations for specific patient lifestyle changes. Additional procedures may involve in-office surgical procedures such as lancing and draining abscesses.
After completion of a Bachelor Degree with a strong emphasis in one of the science fields, a candidate must attend at least 4 years of education at an accredited medical school, followed by a 3 - 7 year residency program. An additional 1 - 3 years of fellowship is necessary for those wishing to add a specialty or additional qualifications. Specific exams are required, then the doctor must become licensed in the state in which he or she will practice medicine. Voluntary board certification may also be obtained.
General Practitioner FAQs:
What is a General Practitioner?
A General Practitioner is a healthcare professional who practices medicine and is licensed by a state board.
What type of work does a General Practitioner do?
A General Practitioner counsels and examines patients for injuries or diseases. A General Practitioner can do minor procedures, for example, treat skin lesions.
What's the difference between a General Practitioner and a Family Doctor?
A Family Doctor is a General Practitioner with the additional education and training for Family Doctor designation. Both treat a wide range of health issues, but the family doctor has additional training for the needs specific to patients of all ages.
Can my whole family see a General Practitioner?
While the General Practitioner is qualified to treat all patients, he or she should have additional qualifications in family medicine in order to be up-to-date on issues that are specific to children and the elderly.
What can I see a General Practitioner for?
You can see a General Practitioner for any common problem. A General Practitioner can take care of patients of all ages.
How many General Practitioners are there in the United States?
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that there are approximately 209,000 in the United States as of 2010.
How do I find a General Practitioner in my city and state?
The Wellness.com directory will help you locate a General Practitioner in your state. Select General Practitioner from the professionals menu and select the state that you are looking to locate a General Practitioner in. After you have located your state, find the city that you will need a General Practitioner in. Select the state and city and you will see a list of General Practitioners in your city and state.
General Practitioner Related Terms:
general practice, family doctor, primary care physician, physical examinations, cholesterol testing, wound care, pap smears, immunizations, skin biopsies, fitness programs, stress reduction plans, ongoing evaluations, bone density testing, menopause treatment