Primary care physicians practice general medicine, addressing a wide array of adult patient concerns. It is the responsibility of a primary care physician, also called a primary care provider or primary care doctor, to help patients in various ways. Here are the four main functions of a primary care physician.
Adults should see their family medicine doctor at least once a year. These appointments are an opportunity to build a relationship with your doctor, ask questions about your health, and have any medical concerns addressed by a professional.
One function of primary medicine is to help patients prevent health problems. Seeing a primary care doctor annually allows them to assess your health and spot potential problems early on so they can be prevented.
For example, your doctor may notice significant weight gain from one year to the next. Knowing that an increased weight could lead to obesity and diabetes, among other problems, they can provide preventative advice and assistance.
Each year, an appointment with the primary care doctor is the first step in getting ahead of health problems. It is an opportunity to take care of minor issues before they become severe or irreversible. It is also a chance to receive advice from your doctor about healthy lifestyle changes that could make a significant difference for your body and mind.
A family medicine doctor can also diagnose a variety of medical problems. By answering questions and allowing the doctor to examine you, a primary care doctor can diagnose conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, sprains, illnesses, and much more.
Their education and experience can lead to a proper diagnosis for effective treatment. The correct diagnosis is crucial because different problems need different treatment plans. For example, a cold may be solved with rest and increased liquids, while pneumonia could require prescription medicine.
If you are concerned that you have an undiagnosed problem, the primary doctor should be your first visit. They will be able to match your symptoms to a health condition and help you get better.
A primary care physician can treat many medical conditions. This doctor may prescribe medicine, a new routine, or lifestyle changes to help prevent or reduce a problem.
Each type of problem, disease, or illness could potentially require different treatment. It is the responsibility of the primary care doctor to recommend a safe and effective treatment unique to the individual.
Your medical history, current health, and lifestyle can all impact the treatment given by your doctor. Age, weight, diet, gender, and current ailments all go into the decision for a treatment plan. Know that your primary doctor wants what is best for you and your health. Their suggested treatment should be taken seriously and followed precisely.
There are, of course, scenarios and situations that lead a primary care doctor to refer a patient to a specialist. While family medicine doctors have an overall knowledge about many things, they often lean on specialists to help their patients receive the best care possible.
Your primary care physician will have a network of specialists that they commonly use for referrals. An ongoing skin problem may require help from a dermatologist, whereas a urologist could better solve frequent urinary tract infections.
Rest assured that if your primary care doctor cannot diagnose or treat a problem, they will find you a medical professional that can.
These are the four main functions of most primary care physicians. While primary care physicians go by a lot of different names, they all do the same things. Most importantly, they all care for their patients and want them to be as healthy and happy as possible. If you haven’t seen your primary doctor in a while, now is a great time to set up an appointment.