Choosing the Doctor that is Best for You

How do you choose the right doctor among so many different options?

We create lasting and trusting connections with your doctors by bringing together attentive and experienced primary care physicians who can serve you and your health needs.

Internal & Family Medicine

“Primary care provider” is a wide-ranging term that describes doctors of several different specialties. Internal medicine and family medicine doctors are two of the most common primary care providers. So what’s the difference between the two?

  • Family medicine practitioners provide a full spectrum of care for the entire family — infants, children, adults and the elderly.
  • Internal medicine doctors, also called internists, focus on the treatment of adults.

What’s the Difference Between MD & DO?

Another distinction that can be confusing is the designation after a doctor’s name. Most people are familiar with the classic “MD,” or “Doctor of Medicine.” However, many patients have not had an opportunity to receive care from a “DO” — “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.”

Both are qualified medical doctors and hold medical degrees from accredited universities. The major difference is in the philosophy of care they use to treat patients.

  • The DO method takes into account your mind, body and spirit. It is a more holistic approach that focuses on allowing the body to heal itself, often, without or with limited medication.
  • The MD method is based primarily on scientific practices and combat disease by use of remedies.

Both types of doctors can prescribe medication and provide complete care to manage your medical needs and to keep you well.

Other Types of Primary Care Providers

Your primary care and disease management can be provided by specialists or mid-level practitioners, including:

  • OB/GYNs can provide primary care for women
  • pediatricians can provide primary care for children from birth to adolescents
  • physician assistants can provide complementary care under the supervision of your physician
  • nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced medical training and can provide complete medical care

Choose a provider that is the right fit for you and your family, close to home. Tufts Medical Center Community Care has over 30 primary care providers in your community, covering Malden, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Revere,  Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winthrop.