(WXYZ) - Dorothy Tomlinson is diligent about getting her yearly physical. Like many American women, she doesn’t see an internist or family doctor. Her primary care physician is her gynecologist.
She says, “He’s very thorough, he’s good with his patients and I like that.”
Dr. Ira Mickelson says the majority of his patients use him as their primary care doctor, “If we’re going to be good physicians we need to be aware of that and take care of all of their needs.”
Dr. Mickelson says the trend is toward using ob/gyns for primary care. Some medical schools are even preparing new doctors for this expanded role.
He explained, “Instead of just delivering your babies and pap smears and birth control, we’re now thinking more in the lines of total patient care.”
So that means an EKG and chest x-ray when appropriate. And a full complement of lab tests, “We always take their blood pressure and we have discussions on quality of life which includes making life healthier.”
The cholesterol test Dr. Mickelson uses, the VAP, is even more complete than the one some internists call for, “It gives us a breakdown of the different types of LDL, different types of cholesterol.”
If a woman is considering using her gynecologist for primary care, she needs to have a conversation about her expectations.
Dr. Mickelson recommends asking the doctor, “ ‘Are you going to be my primary care doctor, are you going to do my cardiovascular, the rest of my health care, or do i need to find someone else?’ I think that needs to be said.”
Dorothy is happy with just seeing a gynecologist for her annual checkup…and she thinks other women would be too. “Its almost like going to the grocery store, one stop shopping and they like that and I think that’s why more women today do that.”
Top Health Headlines
Thursday afternoon, the CDC is expected to address the recent spike in measles cases in the U.S.