The Medical Office of A. A. Emami, D.O., M.D., F.A.C.O.I.
Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellow, American College of Osteopathic Internists
Former Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine (A.C.S.M.)

8080 East Gelding Drive
Suite D-101
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

Phone*: 480.508.0541
Facsimile: 480.508.0542

What is a Primary Care Physician (P.C.P)?

Primary Care Physician (P.C.P.)

Family Medicine (All patients of all ages)
General Practitioner (All patients of all ages)
Internal Medicine (Adults 18 and older)
Pediatrics (Children under 18)

A Primary Care Physician (P.C.P.) is a Physician, such as a one who specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or a General Practitioner, chosen by a patient to serve as his or her health-care professional and capable of handling a variety of health-related problems and of keeping a medical history and medical records on the patient. A Primary Care Physician (P.C.P.) is trained to treat a wide variety of health-related problems and is responsible for referring patients to specialists as needed. To many patients, a Primary Care Physician (P.C.P.) is his or her primary point of contact or point of entry into the medical care system.

For a list of some of the most common conditions treated by Internists, please see the link/webpage titled "Conditions Treated/Medical Care Offered"

Please note there is some degree of overlap between the different medical specialties

Below is a list of nearly all of the medical specialties and some (not all) of the most common diseases/disorders they treat. Also, some of the most common procedures performed by members of each medical specialty are listed. This is a rudimentary guide. It should not be considered exhaustive in any way:

Addiction Medicine

  • A Doctor who specializes in the treatment of addiction.

Allergy and Immunology

  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Angioedema.
  • Certain immunodeficiencies (non H.I.V. or A.I.D.S.).
  • Complement deficiencies/disorders.
  • Severe allergies.


  • Provide anesthesia for medical procedures.
  • Pain management.


  • A "heart" Doctor.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Cardiac catheterizations and stress tests.
  • Congestive heart failure (C.H.F.)
  • Heart attacks.

Critical-Care Medicine

  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Usually the Doctor who cares for patients in a hospital's Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.).


  • A "tooth" Doctor.
  • These Doctors specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
  • Cavities.
  • Gum disease (gingivitis).


  • A "skin" Doctor.
  • Acne.
  • Diseases of the skin.
  • Eczema.
  • Warts.

Emergency Medicine

  • Usually the Doctor who cares for patients in a hospital's Emergency Department (E.D.).
  • These Doctors are also often found to be caring for patients in an urgent-care setting.


  • A "hormone" Doctor.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Adrenal diseases.
  • Diabetes.
  • Low testosterone.
  • Thyroid diseases.


  • A "stomach" Doctor.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Acid reflux (G.E.R.D.).
  • Endoscopies including colonoscopies and Esophagogastroduodenoscopies (E.G.D.).
  • Hepatitis.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (I.B.D.) including crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (U.C.).
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S.).


  • A Doctor who specializes in the care of "older" patients (no age has been established for the term "older.").
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • A large amount of overlap with Family Medicine and Internal Medicine.

Hematology and Oncology

  • A "cancer" Doctor.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Blood disorders.
  • Chemotherapy.

Hospital Medicine

  • A dedicated in-patient Doctor who works exclusively in a hospital.
  • Usually, but not always, these Doctors received training in the specialties of Internal Medicine or Family Medicine.
  • They are the Doctors that take over care from the Emergency Room Physician for patients who are too sick to be discharged home from the emergency department. They treat patients and coordinate care between Doctors of different specialties when specialists are required in the treatment of a patient.
  • This should not be mistaken with "hospice" which is a facility or service providing care for the sick, especially the terminally ill.

Infectious Disease

  • A Doctor who specializes in the treatment of more complex infectious diseases.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Fungal infections.
  • H.I.V. and A.I.D.S.
  • Tuberculosis.

Medical Genetics

  • A Doctor who specializes in hereditary diseases.


  • A "kidney" Doctor.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Dialysis.
  • Evaluation of blood or protein in the urine.


  • A "nerve" Doctor.
  • Dementia.
  • Migraines.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Seizures.
  • Strokes.


  • A "brain" surgeon.
  • A Doctor who performs surgery on the neurological system (the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves anywhere on the body associated with them).

Nuclear Medicine

  • A Doctor who specializes in the use of radioactive material to diagnose and treat diseases.

Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • A "women's" Doctor who specializes in women's health and certain conditions/diseases unique to women.
  • Breast examinations.
  • Endometriosis.
  • Hysterectomy.
  • Pap smear/test.
  • Pregnancy.


  • An "eye" Doctor (not to be confused with an optometrist).
  • Cataracts.
  • Contact lenses and eyeglasses.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Macular degeneration.

Orthopaedic Surgery

  • A "bone" surgeon who repairs/replaces broken/damaged bones, cartilage, and ligaments.
  • A.C.L. tears.
  • Joint injections.
  • Joint replacements (knees, hips, etc.).
  • Rotator cuff repairs.


  • An "ear, nose and throat" Doctor.
  • Nose surgery.
  • Sinus surgery.
  • Tonsil surgery.


  • A Doctor who assists in the diagnosis of disease by evaluating tissue excised from the body (through a biopsy).
  • Typically they evaluate tissue under microscopes to assist in the diagnosis of diseases, but they have an advanced array of methods (aside from microscopes) to assist in diagnoses.
  • They can diagnose disease when a person is alive or after death (autopsy).

Physiatry (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)

  • These Doctors are called Physiatrists (not to be confused with Psychiatrists).
  • These Doctors commonly treat pain and provide rehabilitation to patients who have been injured or are recovering from disease.
  • Amputation rehabilitation.
  • Stroke rehabilitation.


  • A "foot" Doctor.
  • These Doctors treat diseases of the foot, ankle, and lower extremities.
  • Bunions.
  • Heel spurs.
  • Plantar fasciitis.

Preventative Medicine

  • A Doctor who focuses on the health of individuals, communities and defined populations (i.e. African Americans, Caucasians, etc.).
  • This specialty has three subspecialty areas including Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Public Health, and General Preventative Medicine.


  • A "head" Doctor.
  • A Doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Depression.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Schizophrenia.


  • A "lung" Doctor.
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Asthma.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (C.O.P.D.)/Emphysema.
  • Interstitial lung disease (I.L.D.).
  • Pulmonary fibrosis.

Radiation Oncology

  • A Doctor who specializes in ionizing radiation in the treatment of cancer.
  • Radiation therapy.


  • An "X-ray" Doctor.
  • A Doctor who uses imaging to diagnose and treat diseases.
  • These are the Doctors who read/provide reports for X-rays, C.T. (C.A.T.) scans, M.R.I.s, ultrasounds, and more.
  • These Doctors also perform certain procedures under imaging guidance to cure/treat conditions/diseases.


  • These Doctors are called Rheumatologists.
  • They specialize in the treatment of certain diseases that cause chronic (long-term) pain. They also specialize in the treatment of many autoimmune diseases (whereby the body inappropriately attacks itself).
  • A subspecialty of Internal Medicine.
  • Arthritis (there are many types including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Lupus.


  • Generally they can remove any diseased tissue from an appendix to certain skin lesions.
  • Generally they only operate on soft tissue (not broken bones or anything involving the nervous system).
  • There are a large number of specialties/subspecialties from General Surgeons to Cardiothoracic Surgeons ("heart surgeons").

Sports Medicine

  • These Doctors study physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise.
  • This specialty is a subspecialty of Internal Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery.


  • A "bladder" Doctor.
  • These Doctors specialize in the treatment of urinary tract diseases as well as diseases of male reproductive organs (generally diseases of female reproductive organs are treated by Doctors whose specialty is Obstetrics & Gynaecology).
  • Certain cancers.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Prostate issues.
  • Urinary incontinence (accidently leaking urine).

The medical system can be a complicated and frustrating system that appears to be fragmented. How does one know where to begin? In an ideal world, one seeks care from a Doctor for preventative care rather than entering the health system through illness or because of an emergency. To start, patients should always insist on seeking medical care from a Doctor. What is a Doctor? According to the following definitions:

A person skilled or specializing in healing arts; especially: one (as a Physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

A medical Doctor; especially: a medical Doctor who is not a surgeon (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

As demonstrated by the precise definitions above, nurse practitioners and physician assistants (of any certification(s)) are not Doctors/Physicians. With that said, one should seek to establish care with a Primary Care Physician (P.C.P.), someone with a degree of D.O. or M.D. Usually, but not always, Primary Care Physicians (strictly for adults of the age of 18 and older) are Doctors who specialize in Internal Medicine (Internists). Usually, but not always, Primary Care Physicians (strictly for children under the age of 18) are Doctors who specialize in Pediatrics (Pediatricians). Doctors who specialize in Family Medicine have the ability to serve as Primary Care Physicians for patients of all ages (but this may vary by practice and/or location and/or other factors). General Practitioners are Doctors who do not have a specialty although they are capable of providing care in a manner similar to Doctors who specialize in Family Medicine. Usually, but not always, these are Doctors who have practiced for many years (before residencies became commonplace in the 1970s) or Doctors who have completed an internship year following graduation from medical school without further training. General Practitioners are rare to find as most (older) Doctors who served as General Practitioners have retired or are nearing the end of their careers, whereas, most (younger) Doctors opt to pursue residency training after the completion of their internship year.

Isn't a Specialist Always Better?

While Doctors whose specialties are Family Medicine or Internal Medicine practice their specialty for which they have received training, technically they are not considered specialists. A great proverb which contrasts Primary Care Physicians with specialists is that Primary Care Physicians know "A little about a lot" whereas specialists know "A lot about a little." Generally speaking, specialists focus on medical issues requiring a great deal of training while focusing on those medical issues alone. This is not to say that they are not thorough, it is to say that each member of the health care system has a specific role with some degree of redundancy. Primary Care Physicians serve their patients by having knowledge of a large base of medical issues while referring patients to specialists when they have exhausted their base of knowledge. Your Primary Care Physician works in concert with specialists and often serves as the "quarterback" who coordinates care between different specialists.

Many insurance companies (and even the offices of many specialists) will require a referral from a Primary Care Physician prior to evaluating a patient. The reason for this is to save resources for all parties involved. Insurance companies (obviously) don't want to pay for a visit which may not be necessary (especially if it is a medical issue that may be treated by a Primary Care Physician). Specialists on the other hand typically maintain very busy schedules and thus they want to serve patients who truly require their services. It is the role of the Primary Care Physician to diagnose and treat patients and to refer them only when the illness may be beyond the scope of their specialty and/or practice. In many instances, however, the majority of medical issues can be addressed by a patient's Primary Care Physician.

Internists (Doctors who specialize in Internal Medicine) are required to have knowledge of the following specialties:

  • Allergy and Immunology.
  • Cardiology.
  • Critical-Care Medicine.
  • Endocrinology.
  • Gastroenterology.
  • Geriatrics.
  • Hematology and Oncology.
  • Infectious Disease.
  • Nephrology.
  • Neurology.
  • Pulmonology.
  • Rheumatology.
  • Sports Medicine.
  • Urology.

In many instances, Primary Care Physicians will diagnose medical issues and perform a workup which may include a patient interview, physical examination, laboratory (blood) work, radiological evaluation (i.e. X-rays, C.T. (C.A.T. scans, etc.) and more (if indicated). If the Primary Care Physicians believes a patient needs to be referred to a specialist, the specialist will further evaluate the patient based on a report from the Primary Care Physician (a referral) and based on the workup performed by the Primary Care Physician. The specialist may then decide whether to perform further tests on the patient if they are clinically indicated. Following their appointment with the patient, the specialist will send a report back to the Primary Care Physician so that he or she may update his or her medical records and coordinate care between different specialists.


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If you believe you have a medical emergency, you should immediately call 911 or your nearest Physician or go the nearest hospital's emergency department.

This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or to any other individual. The information provided in this site is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of a Physician or other health-care provider. Emami Primary Care is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

If you believe you have any other health problem, or if you have any questions regarding your health or medical condition, you should promptly consult your nearest Physician or other health-care provider. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on this site. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your nearest Physician or other health-care provider to assist you in interpreting any information on this site or in applying the information to your individual case.

Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this site should not be considered current, complete, or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

Please note, the medical care offered by Emami Primary Care should not be construed as an emergency service. Emami Primary Care's hours of availability do vary. Please call the office for further information and for the latest updates on availability of services.