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Choosing a Primary Care Provider

Choosing a doctor–your primary care provider–is an important decision. You need a reliable, skilled expert you can trust to care for you and your family, now and in the years to come.

Primary care doctors are either medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs). Both are well-trained in human anatomy, specializing in internal medicine, family practice or pediatrics. They are licensed to diagnose, treat, advise and prescribe for any medical disease or condition. Osteopathic physicians have up to 500 additional hours in studying hands-on medicine and the body's musculoskeletal system.

How to Choose a Primary Care Provider

Before you choose your primary care physician, ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to reach the provider? Is the staff friendly?
  • Are the office hours and location convenient for me?
  • Does this physician concentrate on my needs, or refer me to specialists for more focused care?
  • Does this provider encourage me to participate in my care?

Learn more about choosing a primary care provider at our online Health Library.

Types of Primary Care Providers

Primary care providers offer different services and areas of specialization. Your specific medical needs and stage of life will help you choose where to begin. Types of primary care providers include:

  • Pediatricians – Physicians dedicated to treating newborns, infants, children and adolescents up to age 18
  • Internists – Doctors treating adults, including seniors
  • Family Practice – Providers who treat patients of all ages, from babies to seniors; family practice providers can treat your entire family
  • Obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) – Physicians who treat women of all ages, especially those of childbearing age
  • Gerontologists – Doctors caring for seniors' medical needs

Reston Primary Care Physicians

Reston Hospital Center works closely with a number of primary care providers throughout Northern Virginia. We're happy to help you find a provider who meets your needs.

Need Help Finding the Right Doctor?

Our free Consult-A-Nurse® referral service can help you:

  • Find the doctor who best fits the needs of you and your family
  • Make an appointment
  • Answer healthcare questions 24/7
  • Register for health-related classes and events at Reston Hospital Center