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General Physicians: Doctors for Acute & Chronic Illness

Written by Dr Nikit Mahale, MBBS, MPHTM (USA) General Physician

Last updated on 19 August 2020

Who is a General Physician?

A General Physician, also known as GP, is a medical doctor specializing in acute non-life-threatening diseases including early detection or prevention of lifestyle disorders and referral to specialized doctors for patients with life-threatening health conditions. Their primary treatment does not involve surgery.

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What does a General Physician do?

General physicians are trained to provide general healthcare services to people of all ages, including adults, children, adolescents and children. General physicians are knowledgeable in all branches of medicine, but if someone needs specialized care, they will refer you to a specialist doctor who’d provide you with the care you need.

How often should you see a General Physician?

General Physicians can help you with outpatient care services that do not require hospitalization: 

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Cough & cold
  • Infections
  • Dengue
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid
  • Flu etc

You may need to see a General Physician in case you have the above health conditions. However, if you require specialized care, they’d refer you to a specialist doctor such as a nephrologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist etc.

What degrees do you need to be a General Physician?

To be a General Physician, you need an MBBS degree or an MD course in general medicine. Once they have the required degree, they can practice at any Primary Health Centers, business organizations, hospitals, nursing homes or open their private practice.

How to find a good General Physician?

To find a good General Physician, speak to a family member or friend who can refer you to a good General Physician. You could also search online for doctors; Google does a great job of providing services closest to you, i.e., they’d connect you with doctors near you. Usually, there are ratings and reviews online for the quality of services provided to help you decide what’s best for you.

How to choose a General Physician?

Choosing the right doctor is one of the most important and personal decisions you would make. Here are seven crucial tips to help you choose the right General Physician:

  1. Research. There are many doctors out there. Decide upon the one you would be comfortable with; someone with a good reputation, communication and soft skills.
  2. Get the right referrals. Speak with your family members, colleagues, friends to help you connect with the right doctor.
  3. Check for licencing and credentials of the General Physician.
  4. Consider the years of experience of the doctor.
  5. Consider the gender of the doctor depending on if you would want to disclose your health condition to them.
  6. Consider the communication style of the doctor. Choose a doctor you would gel along with quickly. Developing a rapport helps in communicating efficiently with the doctor. If possible, read patient reviews to help you make the right decisions.
  7. It’s good to know if you would be covered under the insurance plan that you have.

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  • Ask the doctor about your symptoms, problems, medications, and more during your consultation.
  • You may have to submit your medical history and records if any, so the doctor can understand and corelate it with your condition.
  • Post teleconsultation, you could also follow up with your doctor online.
  • Additionally, you can also buy medicines online and get lab tests done using the MFine app, all from the comfort of your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions on General Physician Near Me

What does a General Physician treat?

A General Physician would treat acute non-life-threatening diseases such as:

  • Cough & cold
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Wounds and infections
  • Dehydration
  • Tropical diseases such as malaria, cholera, dengue, typhoid
  • Asthma
  • Migraines etc

Apart from  providing  preventive healthcare services like vaccinations and health assessments/checkups,  General Physicians are also trained to identify health conditions that require surgical intervention or expert care; in such cases, they’d refer you to a specialist doctor or surgeon who can provide you with specialized care.

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