Your primary care physician provides the basis for your“medical home”– or the network of healthcare providers that serve all your basic health care needs. Your primary care physician (PCP) can be a family practice physician, internist, or geriatrician. What’s most important is that your primary care physician is the doctor you go to first with any health concerns. Keep reading for five benefits of regularly visiting your PCP, and where you can go in Sarasota and Manatee counties for exceptional primary care.
1. Your PCP Detects Issues Early and Keeps You Healthy
This is the essence of preventive health care. At your annual wellness examination, your primary care provider will perform a thorough head to toe assessment, you will receive any vaccine updates you may need, and you will have the opportunity discuss any health problems you may be having with your PCP. Your doctor may look for signs of:
- High cholesterol
- Thyroid function
- Digestive, neurological, and musculoskeletal problems
- Vision and hearing deficits
In addition, your PCP serves as your main health educator, teaching you about important lifestyle habits such as nutritious eating and how to manage stress. Your doctor can also help you with mental health concerns, so don’t be afraid to talk about symptoms of depression, anxiety, addiction, or other issues you may be having.
Finally, as appropriate to your health, family history, age, and other factors, your PCP will perform screening tests for cancer and other conditions that may run in your family.
2. PCPs Treat Acute Injuries and Illnesses
Unless you have a life-threatening emergency, your PCP is your first point of contact for symptoms of COVID-19, other respiratory infections, UTIs, minor burns, abrasions, sprains, fractures, and more. Your PCP can prescribe medication and provide wound care, such as suturing, to get you back in shape as quickly as possible.
3. Your Primary Care Provider Can Help You Manage Chronic Health Conditions
Your primary care physician develops a plan of care to manage serious health problems such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and more. He or she will outline the risks and benefits of treatments and medications, show you how to deal with your condition on a daily basis, and encourage lifestyle changes which will improve your overall health and well-being.
4. Your Primary Care Physician Keeps Your Medical Record
Thanks to modern technology, most of your medical information is stored in an electronic medical record that your doctors can access. Your PCP will go over your medical record and update it at your annual wellness exam or any time you go in for a visit.Your record contains information about your medical, surgical, and medication history, as well as test results, current conditions, treatments, appointment notes, and more. Upon request, your doctor can distribute your electronic medical record to medical specialists or even schools, and you can access your own information through an online patient portal.
5. PCPs Refer and Coordinate Specialty Care
Whether it’s for cancer care, cardiology, psychiatric treatment, or other needs outside the scope of the PCP’s office, the best way to find a specialist is to ask your PCP. They usually work closely with a few kinds of specialists and can refer you to their care if the need arises. This is also convenient because your PCP can easily get medical documentation from a specialist they’re already working with.
The Finest in Primary Medical Care in Sarasota and Manatee Counties
At Intercoastal Medical Group, our team of board-certified providers includes doctors who specialize in internal medicine and family practice and have years of experience as primary care physicians. We would be delighted to serve as your medical home.
In addition, a unique advantage of Intercoastal Medical Group is that we make communication between primary care physicians and specialists as easy as possible. We have physicians of almost every specialty, and they can all access your entire medical file so that our specialists get all the information your primary care physician has and vice versa.
Check our website to find a location near you and give us a call. You can also fill out our appointment request form here, and we will get back to you shortly. We look forward to serving as your new medical home!