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What is a primary care physician?
What do you see a primary care provider for?
Primary care providers can treat all sorts of conditions and issues. From women's health to sports medicine, PCPs have the training and experience to be able to address a number of health concerns.
Primary care providers can offer:
- Routine checkups
- Annual physical exams
- Urgent care
- Blood pressure testing (to check for hypertension and heart disease)
- Injury treatment (stitches, casting, splinting)
- Medication prescription
- Medical advice for general wellness
Primary care providers can usually answer most medical questions you may have. If you need a specialist, a PCP can offer a referral for a qualified doctor with the knowledge and expertise to treat you.
What kind of primary care physician should I see?
Primary care physicians can specialize in different medical fields. While most primary care physicians can treat a wide range of conditions, injuries, and illnesses, you may want to receive a specific type of care based on your need, including:
- Family medicine doctor: Family medicine doctors can treat a number of conditions, illnesses, and injuries in patients ranging from children to geriatric patients. Family medicine doctors may receive continued training in pediatrics and obstetrics to be able to treat children and women’s health conditions.
- Internists: Internists specialize in internal medicine for adults. Internists specialize in treating conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and hypertension.
- Pediatricians: Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in pediatric medicine, or the care of infants and children. Pediatricians can do check-ups for children, provide immunizations, diagnose conditions and illnesses, and prescribe medication.
- Physician assistants: Physician assistants are highly trained health care professionals that have received a Master’s degree and intensive training to be able to work alongside the primary care physician to diagnose, treat, and test for a number of conditions and diseases.
- Obstetrician/ gynecologist: Obstetrician/ gynecologists (OB-GYNs) are specially trained to treat and care for conditions related to women’s health. OB-GYNs help with fertility, childbirth, and issues specifically relating to the health of female reproductive organs.
What do primary care physicians do?
Primary care physicians (PCPs) can diagnose, treat, and help prevent a variety of acute and chronic conditions, including:
PCPs can provide the following routine check-up and diagnostic services
- Blood pressure screening
- Heartbeat monitoring (EKGs)
- Lung tests (spirometry)
- Cancer screenings (such as for breast cancer, testicular cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer)
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Development disorder testing
Primary care physicians can help treat minor injuries and common illnesses, including:
- Common cold
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Yeast infections
- Broken bone treatment (casting, splints, braces)
Primary care physicians can play a key role in preventative care, general wellness, and disease prevention for a range of acute and chronic conditions. A primary care physician can offer medical advice, treat chronic conditions and injury, or refer you to a specialized doctor for further care if needed.
What's the difference between a PCP and a specialist?
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are doctors trained to be your first point of entry into the health care system. In most cases, PCPs have experience and expertise treating a range of acute and chronic conditions, as well as performing routine check-ups, specialty screenings, and general care services.
Primary care remains one of the most popular fields for doctors and allows doctors and patients to develop close relationships. Primary care physicians can specialize in different medical fields, although most PCPs treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, injuries, and illnesses.
Specialists are doctors with advanced training in a particular field, like cancer or women's health. This includes:
Family medicine doctor: Family medicine doctors can treat a number of conditions, illnesses, and injuries in patients ranging from children to geriatric patients. Family medicine doctors may receive continued training in pediatrics and obstetrics to be able to treat children and women’s health conditions.
Internists: Internists specialize in internal medicine for adults. Internists specialize in treating conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and hypertension.
Pediatricians: Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in pediatric medicine, or the care of infants and children. Pediatricians can do check-ups for children, provide immunizations, diagnose conditions and illnesses, and prescribe medication.
Obstetricians/gynecologists: Obstetrician/ gynecologists (OB-GYNs) are specially trained to treat and care for conditions related to women’s health. OB-GYNs help with fertility, childbirth, and issues specifically relating to the health of female reproductive organs.
Sesame offers personalized, quality care with doctors and specialists who treat patients in South Carolina. From women’s health to family medicine, doctors on Sesame can provide care through in-person or video visits at prices up to 60% less than what you’ll find anywhere else.
What can I expect during a routine check-up with a primary care doctor?
What does a primary care physician check for during a routine check-up?
Depending on your medical history, your primary care physician may test or screen for a number of conditions during a visit or routine check-up. These includes:
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Cancers (such as skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and testicular cancer)
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Depression and anxiety
Is a primary care doctor the same as a GP?
What conditions can a primary care physician treat?
Primary care physicians have extensive experience diagnosing, treating, and managing a range of acute and chronic conditions for patients of all ages, including:
- Cold, flu, and other acute illnesses
- UTIs and other vaginal infections
- Rashes, warts, moles, and other skin conditions
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE)
- Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Developmental disorders
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions
What types of medical issues can be treated in a primary care consultation?
How do I find primary care near me?
Right here! Sesame makes it easier than ever to find a real, quality primary care provider in Columbia, SC. If you're a new patient looking for health care, it can be hard to know where to start- especially if you don't have an insurance plan.
Sesame works directly with doctors - not insurance companies - so you never have to worry about limited networks or expensive copays. Same-day appointments and telehealth visits available. See the doctor you want to see on your schedule and save up to 60% on health care with Sesame. It's that simple.
How do I choose a primary care consultation?
Can I book a follow-up appointment or additional services with Sesame?
Yes. Sesame offers a range of follow-up care, services, and specialist consults at clear, affordable prices. Get an MRI or X-ray for your sprained wrist. Talk to a therapist about how you're feeling. Or find a dermatologist to treat your rash. From primary care and prescription refills to dermatology and dentistry, clinicians on Sesame can help you treat and manage just about any condition.
Is a primary care doctor the same as a GP?
What is the difference between a pediatrician and a family doctor?
Put simply, pediatricians treat kids, family doctors treat all members of the family - from your infant to your spouse.
Family doctors often have a more holistic understanding of genetic health issues that run in your family, helping them tailor care directly to your family's needs.
No matter your choice of primary care doctor, Sesame can help you find quality affordable health care. On Sesame, you get to choose who you'd like to see, for upfront prices, on your schedule. Yep. It's really that simple.
Is family medicine the same as primary care?
In most cases, yes. Primary care is an umbrella term to describe medical care that treats a wide range of health-related issues. Primary care providers (PCPs) are usually the first doctors a patient will see if they aren't feeling well or are looking for a referral. Primary care is divided into two forms of health services: family medicine and internal medicine.
Family medicine: Family medicine refers to healthcare provided for the whole family. A family medicine doctor is a primary care provider who mostly offers preventive care like immunizations, checkups, and medical advice. Doctors trained in family practice can treat patients of all ages from pediatrics to geriatrics, so they often act as the healthcare provider for whole families.
Internal medicine: An internal medicine doctor (or internist) provides primary medical care for adults only. Internal medicine doctors diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions for adult patients and provide medical advice to improve general wellness. Internal medicine doctors will offer referrals to a specialist if a patient is dealing with a specific condition.
What’s the difference between seeing a family medicine physician and a dermatologist?
In short, primary care / general practitioners/ family medicine providers can treat most non-serious skin issues. They are generally a good place to start for most skin issues including mild acne, warts, minor rashes, bug bites, simple cysts, dandruff, rosacea, athlete’s foot, and mild, benign lesions.
If the GP doesn’t clear up the problem or the problem is deemed more serious by the GP, it’s time to consult a specialist.
Specialists are often more expensive than a general primary care doctor and you may have to wait longer to see a dermatologist.
What conditions can be diagnosed during an in-person doctor visit?
Most in-person doctor visits booked through Sesame will connect you with a primary care provider (generally a family medicine practitioner or internal medicine doctor). During an in-person doctor visit, these health care providers can test or screen for conditions such as:
-High blood pressure (hypertension)
-Cancers (such as skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and testicular cancer)
-Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
-Depression and anxiety
Should you need to see a specialist, these providers can refer you to the proper care team, and guide you on the next steps.
If during your visit, your doctor determines that you may require a prescription for a new or existing condition, they can write you one during your appointment and send it to your local pharmacy, often with same-day pickup. Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your health care provider.
When should I book an urgent visit?
Urgent visits are recommended for non-life-threatening conditions. If you are experiencing a medical emergency or any life-threatening symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Urgent care providers on Sesame can help with a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions, including:
- Minor illness (cold & flu)
- Sore throat
- Pain from sprains
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Questions about vaccinations and COVID-19
- Infections (skin, ear, eye, bladder, sinus, and more)
Whether you're looking for a primary care physician or a specialist, Sesame offers urgent care services at affordable prices. Skip the long wait times at walk-in clinics and get the quality care you need by booking an in-person or video visit with top-rated healthcare providers in Columbia, SC. Save up to 60% on your urgent medical care needs with a convenient appointment on Sesame.
How can I stay healthy as I get older?
What is a sports/ school physical?
What should I expect at a sports physical?
Different doctors may conduct sports physicals differently, but they will all want to get a general sense of your state of health and well-being.
They may ask questions about any current or past health problems (illnesses, injuries, medical conditions, heart problems, chest pain, etc.), family history, diet, drugs, alcohol, supplements being taken, and menstrual periods (for girls and women).
They will also conduct a physical examination in which they may measure your height and weight, analyze your blood pressure and pulse, test your vision, check your heart, lungs, ears, nose, and throat, check for hernias, and check your posture, joint health, strength, and flexibility.
What is a sports medicine specialist?
A sports medicine specialist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating sports-related injuries.
Sports medicine specialists don't just provide quality care for professional athletes, they can also help with injury treatment and pain management for patients with active lifestyles. A sports medicine specialist (or sports medicine physician) is board-certified in orthopedic care, family medicine (primary care), or internal medicine, with additional training in pain management and injury prevention. To earn qualification to practice sports medicine healthcare, these doctors must go through a Sports Medicine program and pass the Sports Medicine national exam.
Sports medicine specialists may be hired as team physicians for professional, college, or high school athletic departments. Many specialists may also have an outpatient practice at a medical center or hospital.
Where can I get a sports physical?
Sesame is the best place to save money on a physical. On Sesame, you can find top-reviewed doctors who offer sports physicals and pay them directly - without insurance.
Note that sometimes a child's school will bring in a doctor to conduct these checkups. Still, many parents and students opt to have their sports physical completed by an external doctor or specialist.
If you're looking to book an appointment for a sports physical Sesame can help! Sesame offers convenient consultations in Columbia, SC at affordable cash-pay prices. Simply search for primary care physicians in our search engine, compare prices, and book with the doctor you want to see directly on the site. Save up to 60% on your appointment when you book through Sesame - no insurance needed.
What should I bring to a sports physical?
If you receive a form regarding medical history, you will want to fill that out and bring it to your physical. If not you will want to bring as much of the following information as possible:
- A list of all prescription and over-the counter medications, supplements, and vitamins you or your child are taking
- A list of all the immunization shots that you or your child have had and the dates they were received
- A list of allergies and reactions
- You or your child's medical history, such as any illnesses they have or have had, current or past injuries (concussions, sprains, broken or dislocated bones, etc.), and any surgeries or hospitalizations
- Family history. Particularly if there have been any deaths related to exercise
- Last, but not least, you will want to bring the sports physical form with you for the doctor to fill out and sign. This generally includes a health history form, certifications, consents, and signatures. Most schools require a filled-out sports physical form before participation is allowed.