Finding a doctor—a primary care provider—is a big decision. You want an expert you can trust to care for you and your family today, tomorrow and through all stages of life.

Primary care physicians may be either medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs). Both types undergo rigorous training in human anatomy and are licensed to diagnose, treat, correct, advise and prescribe for any human disease or condition. Osteopathic physicians receive an additional 300 to 500 hours in the study of hands-on manual medicine and the body’s musculoskeletal system.

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who practice under the supervision of a physician, can also serve as your primary care provider.

Our free Consult-A-Nurse® service can help you:

  • Find a doctor who’s the right fit for you and your family
  • Make an appointment
  • Answer your healthcare questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Register for health-related classes and events at LewisGale Regional Health System locations

And by selecting a LewisGale primary care physician, you benefit from our extensive network of services and experts whenever you need more specialized care.

How to Choose a Primary Care Provider

When making a decision about a primary care provider, ask yourself:

  • Is the office in a convenient location for me? Do the hours work with my schedule?
  • How easy is it to reach the provider? Is the staff friendly?
  • Can I make an appointment right away, or do I have to wait for an opening or a call back?
  • Does the provider focus on my needs?
  • Does the provider refer to specialists for more focused care?
  • Does the provider invite me to be involved with my care?

Types of Primary Care Providers

Primary care providers offer different types of services and areas of specialization. Your stage of life and your medical needs will help you determine where to start. Types of primary care providers include:

  • Pediatricians – Doctors who focus on treating newborns, infants, children and adolescents up to age 18
  • Internists/Internal Medicine – Doctors who treat adults, including seniors
  • Family Practice – Doctors who treat patients of all ages—newborn to elderly; your whole family can see the same doctor if you choose a family practice physician
  • Obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) – Doctors who treat women of all ages, particularly those of childbearing age
  • Nurse practitioners and physician assistants – Healthcare professionals who practice under the supervision of a physician

Learn more about our primary care services.