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Choosing A Physician


When you are considering a new physician, one of the first factors is selecting the type of doctor you need. Here are the basic categories:

Primary Care Physicians
These physicians help manage your overall health, as well as the great majority of medical needs related to illness or injury. They have advanced training in disciplines such as:

Family Practice - A specialty with broad-based residency training in pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery and the behavioral sciences. Family practice physicians see patients of all ages, managing most of their outpatient medical problems, providing preventive care and consulting other specialists as needed.

Internal Medicine - A specialty with advanced, concentrated education in the diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases, including problems found in the elderly. Internists provide comprehensive care to adults, both in the office setting and in the hospital.

Pediatrics -A specialty with advanced education in the growth and development of children from birth through adolescence, and the diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases.

Other Specialists
First Physicians in other areas of specialty receive a broad-based education in medicine and then concentrated residency (and sometimes fellowship) education in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the chosen specialty, such as cardiology, neurology, radiology, orthopaedics, etc. Primary care physicians refer patients to these specialists for more extensive care of an illness or injury.

A new area of specialty is the Hospitalist, a highly trained physician who may be asked by your physician to help with your medical needs when you are hospitalized. The hospitalist communicates closely with your physician throughout your hospital stay, giving updates on your progress. When you are discharged, your hospitalist will also arrange followup appointments with your regular physician.

For a referral, call the ETMC HEALTHFIRST LINE: 903-531-8890 or 800-648-8141.