In the world of healthcare, there are numerous roles that need to be filled. But of all of these roles, most healthcare professionals specialize in only one particular field.
The one area where an individual is trained to deal with multiple patients, however, is a general practitioner.
General practitioners, like nurses, are trained to see a variety of patients. And this can include adults, adolescents, and children. This is due to the extensive medical training that’s required of anyone who decides to enter the world of general practice.
As such, most general practitioners are known as primary care physicians. And a primary care physician is generally the doctor you visit first when you become ill or develop a medical condition that requires treatment.
Here, we’ll unpack the many hats of a general practitioner and take a deeper look into where these general practice doctors work.
You might associate a pediatric clinic with a pediatrician. But primary care clinics are also often home to general practitioners who diagnose children as well, even if their credentials aren’t a pediatric specialty.
A general practitioner is cross-trained over many fields, which makes for many available jobs for general practitioners.
Additionally, a general practitioner has the ability to diagnose illnesses in children and provide a treatment plan. However, in most cases regarding children, a general practitioner will refer the child to a pediatric specialist in the case that he or she needs specific care.
A private practice is typically the preferred workplace of a general practice doctor. This basically means that a general practitioner has gone into business for him or herself, and they are then essentially self-employed.
A general practitioner will also employ a small staff of nurses or have someone in charge of everyday affairs such a healthcare administrator role. But these facilities don’t operate around the clock like with larger healthcare facilities or hospitals.
A general practitioner in private practice also typically keeps regular business hours and only operates during the workweek, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, or a similar hourly time frame.
It should also be noted that private practices are often referred to as primary care facilities, and these are usually open to patients of all ages, with all ailments. Though the general practitioner will see all patients, he or she will often refer a patient to a specialist if conditions dictate.
Urgent Care Facilities
Clinics such as Urgent Care and similar facilities are all operated by a variety of means. Basically, some of these facilities are owned by physicians or a group of physicians who operate as general practitioners.
It should be noted that many Urgent Care facilities are owned by large healthcare corporations as well, and only very few are owned outright by individuals.
A typical Urgent Care facility has a staff of medical doctors and nurses on hand during the day. Though most of the physicians are general practitioners, many of them come from differing medical backgrounds.
Yes, you can also find general practitioners in hospitals and large healthcare facilities as well. In fact, most general practitioners get their start in a hospital environment before they move on into a private practice or other healthcare setting.
In a hospital, general practitioners are on hand to diagnose patients, and address any concerns the patient may have. The next step is usually to refer the patient to a specialist within the hospital, or recommend a treatment plan if the condition isn’t critical.
A general practitioner can operate in a clinic wing within a hospital, or be part of the larger staff that operates within the entire hospital.
All in all, general practitioners are like the Swiss Army knife of the healthcare industry. These highly educated and extensively trained medical doctors can fill a variety of roles and are indispensable within the world of medical care.