A primary care or family doctor is a physician that specializes in routine medical care for the whole family. A primary care doctor’s office is typically the first place you will visit if you are sick or in need of an annual physical. A family doctor can help treat and manage a wide range of medical conditions and illnesses. Furthermore, if you are in need of specialist care, your family doctor will be responsible for referring you to the appropriate person. The main goal of family medicine is to partner with you throughout your lifetime to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain peak health. These practitioners are an important part of your comprehensive medical care. Read on to learn more about what these doctors do and why they are an important part of your health care team.
Primary care physicians are responsible for managing and treating a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. They also provide preventive care services such as vaccinations, physical exams, and screenings for a variety of health conditions. They often receive visits from sick or injured patients and may administer Covid or Flu testing in their offices. In some cases, primary care doctors may even provide mental health services, associated medications, gynecological exams, or birth control. However, a primary care physician will refer whenever necessary to ensure you receive the specialized care you need when you need it.
There are many reasons it is necessary, as well as beneficial to have your own primary care physician. Consider them below:
There are many reasons to visit a primary care doctor, aside from illness or injury. It is important to make regular appointments for well-checks and complete an annual physical to ensure you’re healthy and to address any potential issues before they develop into serious medical problems. Additionally, if you have any chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or asthma, it is important to see a primary care doctor for regular check-ups to address and manage these conditions. Lastly, be sure to schedule an appointment any time you have concerns or questions related to your health or lifestyle.
During a typical visit to your primary care doctor, your physician will likely start by asking questions about any changes in your health since your last visit. This can include topics, such as what medications you are taking, family history, any new symptoms you have noticed, and general lifestyle questions. After this initial discussion, the doctor will perform a physical exam and check your vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. They may also order additional tests or screenings, depending on your age, medical history, and the reason for your visit. If you receive a diagnosis or if there are changes to an existing condition, they will discuss any suggested treatment plans with you and answer any questions you may have.
Prior to your scheduled appointment, it is important to make sure you are prepared with any relevant information that may pertain to your health. This includes creating a list of any current medications, supplements, or vitamins you are taking and bringing them along for the doctor to review. Additionally, it can be helpful to write down any questions or concerns you may have about your health, so you remember to ask them during the visit.
Finding the right primary care physician for you can be a daunting task, but it is important to take your time, and research potential doctors in your area. Start by asking friends, family members, or coworkers who they recommend and check online reviews and ratings for doctors in your area. You can also contact local hospitals or clinics for recommendations. Once you have narrowed down your list of potential physicians, contact their office to ask any questions you may have, as well as to get a sense of their office culture and policies. Ultimately, once you've determined which doctor you would like to visit, schedule an initial appointment to establish care and see if you are comfortable with the practitioner. If for some reason you end up dissatisfied with your primary care doctor, it is important to your health to find a family physician who is right for you.
After learning more about primary care doctors, their importance, and the conditions they treat, don't put your health on the back burner another day. Get started finding the right primary care doctor for you today!