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Whether you require a family physician, an internist, or a nurse practitioner, primary care providers are often the first contact that we have with the healthcare system. We diagnose and treat common illnesses while also spotting minor health problems before they become serious ones.
We offer preventive care services, such as flu shots, cancer screening, and counseling on diet and smoking. We play an integral role in helping to manage the care of patients with chronic health conditions.
When people don’t have access to a regular primary care provider, they end up being admitted to hospitals and emergency rooms more frequently. Without regular screening, a controllable condition like high cholesterol – which often can be kept in check with common medications – can eventually lead to a life-threatening heart attack.
The evidence shows that good access to primary care can help us live longer, feel better, and avoid disability. In areas of the country where there are more primary care providers per person, death rates for cancer, heart disease, and stroke are much lower. Healthcare costs are also lower when people have a primary care provider overseeing their care and coordinating all the tests, procedures, and follow-up care.