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Physicians diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. There are two types of physicians: The MD Doctor of Medicine and the DO. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. While MD's and DO's both may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, DO's place more emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care.

About one third of MD's are primary care physicians. Primary Care Physicians practice general and family medicine, or general internal medicine. Pediatricians are also primary care physicians, but specialize in the care of children and adolescents. Primary care physicians provide basic medical care, and are usually the first health professionals patients consult when it is not clear whether a specialist is indicated.

Primary care physicians tend to see the same patients on a regular basis for preventive care and to treat a variety of ailments. General and family practitioners emphasize comprehensive health care for patients of all ages and for the family as a group. Those in general internal medicine provide care mainly for adults who have a wide range of problems associated with the body's organs. General pediatricians focus on children's health.

Medical Specialists have additional training in one or more specialties, and provide treatment for more complicated medical problems. Most people are familiar with some medical soecialties, such as Cardiology and Surgery, but there are many other medical specialties.  

Consult the Health Information Center for more consumer information
related to this specialty.

Review this List of Medical Specialties
to locate a physician near you in your choice of specialty.


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