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What is a Primary Care Physician?
What is a Primary Care Physician?
May 16/2023

What is a Primary Care Physician?

A doctor, also known as a physician, is a medical professional who diagnoses, treats, and prevents various health conditions, but there are many types of physicians, and a primary care physician is one of them. In this brief article brought to you by Southern Maryland Medical Group, we explore the qualifications and role of primary care doctors. If you are looking for a primary care physician in the area, you can call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule a convenient appointment today.

How Does a Person Become a Primary Care Physician?

It’s important to understand that the road to become a primary care physician is long and filled with challenges. The general steps to becoming a primary care physician include:

  • Obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is a standardized, multiple-question exam that assesses the test-taker’s knowledge of general scientific principles as well as their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Enrolling in an accredited medical school and obtaining a medical degree. Medical school generally takes four years to complete, and awards a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.
  • Completing a residency program, which involves in-depth clinical training under the supervision of experienced physicians.
  • Taking the board certification program in a chosen specialty. Board certification is not legally required, as of writing this article, but many employers expect it.
  • Finally, obtaining a license from the Maryland Board of Physicians, which has unique requirements including passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX).

In short, licensed physicians undergo years of education, testing, and training to be able to practice in the United States.

What Do Primary Care Physicians Do?

A primary care physician in District Heights generally serves as the initial point of contact for patients, providing comprehensive and ongoing healthcare to individuals of all ages. Some key aspects of a primary care physician’s role include:

  • General health maintenance, like performing regular check-ups and health screenings.
  • Guidance on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing risk factors, and preventing diseases.
  • Diagnosing of acute and chronic conditions.
  • Developing personalized treatment plans, involving prescription medication, lifestyle changes, etc.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.
  • Coordinating with medical specialists, ordering lab tests.
  • And More.

In short, your primary care physician keeps up with your general health and provides holistic healthcare. They are your central point of contact for healthcare needs. If necessary, they can refer you to specialized doctors. Building a strong and trusting relationship with a primary care physician is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being.

Maryland Residents Looking for a Primary Care Physician Can Call Now

If you are looking for a qualified primary care physician and you live in the Southern Maryland area, then call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule an appointment with one of our primary care doctors in Clinton, MD. You are also welcomed to call and arrange a walk-in appointment for a quick meeting. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our Locations

Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help. 

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Camp Springs, MD

5801 Allentown Road, Suite 400 Camp Spring, MD 20746

Phone: 301-868- 0150

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-868-0243

Greenbelt, MD

7500 Greenway Center, Dr #1200 Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-486-7580

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-486-7581

Riverdale, MD

6510 Kenilworth Ave, Ste 1400, Riverdale MD 20737

Phone: 301-618-0771

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-618-0772