Is It OK if You Use Your Gynecologist as Your General Practitioner?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

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Q: Is it OK if you use your gynecologist as your general practitioner?

Oz Says: Ideally, you would see both. But I know that in the real world, it's easier to go with the all-in-one ob-gyn approach. Ateev Mehrotra, MD, an associate professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School, says that using your gynecologist for one-stop shopping is probably fine, as long as two things are true:

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1. Your ob-gyn feels comfortable taking on that primary care provider (PCP) role. Ask her if she is. One survey found that about half of ob-gyns consider themselves to be PCPs. Others prefer to stick within the women's health realm and not have to, say, check cholesterol counts and ask about your migraines. You need to be sure your expectations ("She's got me covered") sync with what the doctor is aiming to provide.

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2. You're generally healthy. "If you have a number of chronic health problems, like lupus and high blood pressure, for instance, an ob-gyn may feel less comfortable managing that," Mehrotra says. "And if you see several different specialists regularly, you may want a PCP to help quarter­back your health care." These situations require an investment of time that an ob-gyn may not be able to carve out.

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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