Your primary care provider (PCP) is who you see on a regular basis for your healthcare needs. Yes, that means treating you when you’re sick with the occasional sinus infection or stomach bug–but it should also mean working to keep you healthy in the first place.
If you or a family member require surgery, you want to see a surgeon who is an expert in their specialty area. Surgical specialists are trained and experienced in specific areas, often going through additional education after medical school to become board-certified in certain surgeries or surgical techniques. Many of these surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgery, such as laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Minimally invasive procedures reduce recovery time, length of hospital stays and risk of infection..
Sometimes, a primary care provider will refer a patient to a medical specialist for diagnosis and treatment of a health condition. The specialist is a physician who has specific training, education and certifications in a specialized field of medicine. Usually, this means they focus on specific areas or functions of the human body.