Primary care doctors (aka Family Physicians) are healthcare professionals with the ability to address a person’s overall medical issues. Family Physicians complete specialty training specific to primary care and and are different from Pediatricians and Internists. Pediatricians treat young people from birth to about 18 years, while Internists treat only adults. Family physicians are able to treat patients of all ages. Some Family Physicians even deliver babies.
Primary care doctors provide 3 critical components to health care: prevention, acute illness/injury, and chronic disease management. For prevention, the annual health assessment is an opportunity to discuss overall health status, complete a comprehensive physical exam, and order diagnostic tests. It is a free benefit for almost all insurance companies. People with Medicare are unique. They are eligible to complete a free annual wellness exam. The annual wellness exam is a formal screening for functional deficits that some people may be afraid to report: hearing loss, vision loss, depression, loss of mobility, and dementia. Results of screening allow a primary care doctor to recommend resources to help patients remain independent at home as long as possible. Sudden illness can be scary for patients and families. There is an option to the emergency room – your primary care doctor. Primary care doctors are familiar with your medical history and medications. Same day appointments shorten wait time and expenses. Not everyone has perfect health. Primary care doctors are trained to treat medical conditions such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, COPD, arthritis, migraines, allergies, high cholesterol heartburn, tobacco cession, and depression. Primary care doctors work in tandem with specialists to reduce complications and hospital admissions.
Through preventive care, treatment for sudden illness, and chronic condition management, your primary care doctor is your first and best resource for maintaining good health for a lifetime.