Banner Health
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Your Primary Care

Banner Health’s primary care services allow patients to have a continuum of care throughout their life. Our primary care doctors are here to provide comprehensive care for you and your loved ones. 

Learn more about how Banner Health primary care doctors can help you maintain preventative care and a healthy lifestyle.

What Is Primary Care?

Primary care is the general service of health care for patients. Your primary care provider acts as your partner on your health journey and is often your first point of contact when any symptoms or conditions arise. 

Within primary care, Banner Health specialties and services including:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • OB/GYN

Learn more about these primary care services and which specialty may be right for your care needs

Family Medicine vs. Internal Medicine

Both family medicine and internal medicine providers can act as primary care providers. 

A family medicine provider sees patients of all ages, from birth into adulthood and through end-of-life care. 

Internal medicine providers specialize in primary care services for adult patients. An internal medicine doctor {or internist} may also specialize in a service such as oncology, hematology or gastroenterology.

What is a PCP (Primary Care Physician)?

A primary care physician (PCP) focuses on general medicine and provides comprehensive care to patients. Your primary care physician is the first point of contact for any health needs.

Your primary care physician will be your partner on your health journey – learning and documenting your history so they can best provide solutions or options when conditions or illnesses arise. 

What Do Primary Care Doctors Provide?

Primary care doctors can provide lifelong centralization of care for you and your family. You can rely on your primary care doctor to help manage your health.
Your primary care provider can offer a wide variety of treatment and support including:

  • Preventative care
  • Annual wellness exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Counseling
  • Diagnosis and treatment of conditions
  • Condition management
  • Education
  • Patient advocacy 

What Do You See a Primary Care Doctor For?

Patients usually see a primary care doctor for needs, conditions or symptoms such as:

  • Allergies
  • Abnormal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Routine physicals
  • Immunizations
  • Sinus infections
  • Prescribing medication
  • Screenings
  • Treating minor illnesses and injuries

Patients may also talk to their primary care doctor about family history conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Your primary care doctor can work with you to create a preventative care plan or a condition management plan.

Your primary care doctor can also refer you to a specialist if specific tests and assessments are needed to better diagnose any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Guide to Primary Care Titles

Find out more about what the initials after your primary care provider’s name means.

DOs v. MDs

While DOs and MDs are similarly educated and certified, they differ in their philosophy.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) have a more holistic view of medicine and usually practice independently, meaning they can make the key-decisions in their practice. DOs don’t just treat a patient’s symptoms, they view a patient as a whole and care for the entire body, mind and health. DOs also specialize in the body's musculoskeletal system of muscles and bones and can use this knowledge to help diagnose a patient's illness.

Medical doctors (MD) practice modern, science-based medicine independently and manage a patient's care. MDs focus on traditional medicine to treat a patient's symptoms.

DOs and MDs can both prescribe medication, diagnose illnesses and review lab reports and scans.

NPs v. PAs

The main difference between a PA and an NP is the type of schooling and credentials they receive.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) practice independently in primary, acute and specialty services. NPs can manage chronic illnesses, prescribe medications and read lab results.

Physician Assistants (PAs) practice in primary and specialty care services. PAs work under the supervision of a licensed physician but can order lab tests, treat minor conditions and refer patients to specialists.

We are here to keep you and your loved ones healthy. Call your primary care provider with any questions you have about your primary care options.