Internists are physicians specializing in the care of adult patients, They may be general internists who, after doing a three year residency, take care of the primary care needs of adults Some internists in addition have done a fellowship (such as cardiology or gastroenterology) and specialize in specific diseases and conditions. Internists do not take care of children.
Generally speaking when you hear of "primary care providers or PCP's" this refers to physicians (or physician's assistants or nurse practitioners) who take care of patients who turn to them first for care. Most of the time PCP's can provide care for the patients who come to them for help. Sometimes the patient will have a more complicated or rare condition and then a referral to a specialist is necessary. Physicians who are considered PCP's are typically family physicians, general internists and general pediatricians.
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