Primary care is the first and foremost medical care that detects, treats, and prevents numerous acute and chronic health conditions. Your primary care physician is your best resource for maintaining your well-being when you have long-term issues, such as hypertension and asthma, which require ongoing management.
Here’s how your PCP plays an active role in managing chronic diseases.
Your PCP Provides a Health Framework
You and your primary care physician develop a relationship over the years. As you work together, your PCP formulates care suited to your individual needs and health-related goals. The American Academy of Family Physicians calls this care a “health framework” that is patient-centered and assimilates the many moving parts of preventive and acute care into one cohesive care plan.
Your PCP Provides Routine Check-ups
However, check-ups are far from routine. As you see your doctor for yearly examinations, you are checked for acute problems, such as upper respiratory or urinary tract infections. But also, your PCP delivers preventive care, looking at your weight, muscle strength, reflexes, and all-important blood work. These assessments detect ongoing problems, such as diabetes, which must be treated with dietary measures, exercise, and medications to minimize their impact on overall health and longevity.
Also, your PCP determines what age-appropriate cancer screenings you need (PSA, colonoscopy, and others) to reveal any serious conditions early enough to be treated successfully. You will discuss your dietary and activity levels and be screened for mental health issues like depression and cognitive decline.
Primary Care Physicians Provide Patient Education
If you have a chronic condition, such as arthritis, your PCP will teach you ways to live well with it. The doctor will explain any medications you take, recommend exercise and physical therapy, and suggest ways to eat a healthy diet to control weight, improve the ability to move, and avoid additional joint damage.
Your doctor can help you sort through the enormous amount of medical information available to the public. You’ll learn what applies to you and your health and how to use it safely and effectively.
Your PCP Coordinates Specialty Care
If you have advanced arthritis, a knee replacement may be in your future. Your PCP will help you select the right orthopedic doctor and coordinate specialty care, transferring your medical records accurately and in their entirety. In conjunction with your specialist, your PCP will help you determine if advanced procedures are your best treatment options.
Your PCP Facilitates Communication
That means he or she maintains your electronic health record and can send it to other providers. The doctor uses IT technologies, which make doctor-patient communication easier and faster.
A good example of improved communication is the patient portal. This online, secure website allows patients to ask questions during off hours, make appointments, get prescription refills, and more. It allows you a large measure of control as the portal gives access to and delivers necessary information instantaneously, 24/7.
Comprehensive, Patient-centered Primary Care in Sarasota and Manatee Counties
With over 100 highly qualified physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physical therapists in 10 locations, Intercoastal Medical Group makes it easy to find a primary care provider at a location convenient for you. You can even search for one by name, gender, specialty, or location.
To learn more or arrange a consultation,call Intercoastal Medical Group today at one of our 10 offices or use our convenient online appointment request form.