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What Is A Primary Care Physician?

Primary care

What is a physician? In order to understand what a primary care physician does, you need to understand what a physician does. A physician is a doctor that has completed special training after college and medical school. If they were trained traditionally, they will have “MD” (Doctor of Medicine) or “DO” (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) after their name in formal titles. These doctors have completed much more training than other medical providers and are therefore the most commonly visited for medical needs.

Most physicians complete an additional three years of residency training to improve their specialty, be it family medicine, internal medicine, or pediatrics. However, if only one year of specialized training is completed, the physician is referred to as a “generalist”. A doctor is considered board certified when they have completed residency and all certification exams (including the boards). Having a board certified physician brings more value to you because you have confidence in your doctor’s education and his or her ability to properly care for you.

Primary Care, Now that you know what a physician does, it’s time to learn about primary care physicians and why you need one. Many people mistakenly view primary care physicians as base-level doctors or medical practitioners that lack advanced knowledge. After learning about the extensive training physicians go through, you can see why this isn’t true. Perhaps this inaccurate idea stems from the common practice of physicians referring patients to other doctors after diagnosing and even treating them. 

Although this is something a primary care doctor may do, they don’t spend all day researching specialists to refer their patients too. In a single day, a primary care doctor might meet with and treat an individual suffering from depression, write a prescription for a skin rash, administer joint injections, and perform a pap smear test. Some family physicians may even deliver babies.

Primary care

Why do you need a primary care physician?

As you can see, a primary care provider is your one-stop shop for almost all of your medical needs. They are prepared to diagnose and treat some of the most bizarre conditions that other doctors may be unable to recognize. And as they learn more about you and your needs, they can be your advocate and advisor while helping you in just the way you need.

Although some sicknesses may not require a doctor at all and can be treated entirely at home, not every illness can be cured with home remedies, and some illnesses that do present themselves as minor can actually be signs of a much bigger issue. Unfortunately, these distinctions cannot be made without the help of an expert; but fortunately, primary care providers exist to help with this and much more.

These doctors are the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to medicine. They usually practice general medicine instead of specializing in just one particular field. In fact, general knowledge is their specialty. Which is why you can make a visit to them for both common ailments and chronic conditions. With their extensive knowledge, they can manage patients undergoing multiple treatments and can take into account the interactions between different medicines when writing prescriptions.

With primary care, patients are more likely to take better care of themselves. In fact, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that adult patients with primary care were much more likely to stay on top of their routine check-ups. Patients also filled more prescriptions and received more high-value care such as screenings for serious diseases.

Primary care

Why Do You Need A Direct Primary Care Doctor?

While choosing a primary care doctor is an important step to take, finding a direct primary care provider offers an added benefit to the health of you and your family. Direct primary care offers the same personalized healthcare without any involvement with insurance. With a membership, you are given complete access to your doctor for a monthly fee. Although insurance may still be needed for major procedures and hospital admissions, the unlimited access to countless services makes direct primary care a better option for an increasing number of people.

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