Primary care doctors are adept at diagnosing, treating and helping you prevent a broad range of conditions, which is just one of the many reasons why they’re such an integral part of the healthcare system. When you have a primary physician, you’ll have access to efficient, consistent medical care for all sorts of reasons. In this article, we’re going to explain why having a primary care doctor is so helpful and important, and we’ll end by giving you a few tips about finding the right doctor for you.
Familiarity with You and Your Family
Your primary care doctor won’t just know you, but also your medical history and the details of your current health and wellness. This means you’ll receive personalized care without having to spend extra time to remind your doctor about who you are and aspects of your health history. Your primary care doctor’s goal will be to give you the type of healthcare that will be most beneficial, as opposed to trying to apply a cookie cutter approach. The better your doctor gets to know your personality as well as specifics about your health, the more he or she will be able to work with you, so you can make decisions together.
Managing and Preventing Troublesome Conditions
If you’re searching for “primary care physician near me,” you may need help with a common condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. Your doctor can screen for these conditions if you’re concerned you may have them or that you may be as risk for them. If you have some type of chronic condition, your doctor will work with you to manage the symptoms and to prevent them from getting worse. Additionally, your physician can help with family medicine like immunizations; regular checkups and screenings; and common, non-emergency illnesses. The best part about having a primary care doctor is that most of the issues you’ll go into the office for will be able to be solved there without the need for outside referrals.
Clarifying Conflicting Medical Advice
If you’ve gone to a specialist (or more than one) for advice about a specific medical issue, you may be having trouble sorting through the advice you’ve been offered, especially if the doctors seem to conflict one another. Why a primary physician may not be able to offer specialized treatment, they can help you make sense of what you’ve been told. You can work with your primary doctor to decide the best route for you and also to determine which questions you should ask the specialist, or even if it’s a better idea to get another opinion.
Providing Care as Part of a Team
Most primary care doctors have other professionals on their team that can help you with all sorts of health and wellness issues. The rest of the team may include other physicians, physician assistants, nurses, admin and staff members, and associates skilled in-patient care. As a team, you can get a range of educated perspectives that will then be brought together to give you thoughtful, well-rounded treatment options.
Choosing a Primary Care Doctor
Finding a primary care physician is an important and necessary part of managing your health. Think of your primary care doctor as your home base for healthcare – the place you’ll go for just about every non-emergency health need. Finding the right doctor may take some extra time and effort, though. Here are a few tips:
Consider the doctors who are in your insurance network. You may be able to use a portion of insurance at out-of-network doctors but checking out the in-network doctors is an easier (and more budget-friendly) way to start. Ask around for referrals. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable visiting a doctor that someone you trust already has experience with. If you’re going to be relocating, you can ask your current doctor for suggestions in your new locale.
Think about your specific health needs, then find a doctor with extra experience in those areas. For example, if you have children you may want to look for a family practice. If you have a chronic condition, you may need an internal medicine expert. If you don’t yet have a primary care doctor for you or your family, it may be time to start looking for one. There’s nothing that can replace the sort of personalized, continuous care you and your loved ones will get.