A Look At The Pros & Cons Of Designating A Family Medicine Doctor As Your Primary Care Provider

Posted on: 6 May 2019

Picking your primary care provider is a major adult decision, and it is one that should take some careful consideration. Many people do pick family care doctors or family practices as their primary treatment provider, and for good reason. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of designating a family medicine doctor as your primary care provider:

Pro: Family doctors can treat you and your family members. 

When there are multiple members of one family that will need medical care, it is always helpful if everyone can see the same practitioner. Most family practitioners will treat people from all age groups, which means you, your children, and possibly even your aging parents could possibly be treated at the same place. Having one practitioner for the whole family will make it much easier if multiple people are sick or need medical attention. 

Con: Some family doctors are very popular, so wait times can be a little longer. 

A family practice will see patients of all ages, and many of them are popular caregivers in the community. Therefore, it is not at all uncommon for one doctor to have several patients every day that have to be seen. Unfortunately, this kind of popularity in the medical field can mean longer wait times for patients. If you are concerned about wait times with a certain practitioner, the office clerk can usually give you a good idea of what the typical wait time will be. 

Pro: Family doctors are well-versed in an array of different medical problems. 

Family doctors, which are sometimes also referred to as general practitioners, know a lot about different medical conditions and the treatment of those conditions. You can likely get treated by one of these physicians whether you have a common cold or problems with diabetes, high blood pressure, or some kind of virus. 

Con: Family doctors are more likely to refer you to a specialist. 

Family doctors are definitely trained in a lot of different illnesses and common ailments, but they do not necessarily specialize in a particular area of medicine. This is good for general care purposes, but it will also mean that if you have an acute problem, it is likely that you will be referred to another doctor for treatment. For example, you may be referred to another practitioner if you have severe allergy problems or you are diagnosed with chronic pain.