General physicians help manage day-to-day health needs. A long-term relationship with a Physician keeps you healthier and lowers medical costs. They can teach you ways to stay healthy, treat you when you’re sick and help you get more advanced care when you need it. Finding the right general Physician for you takes time but improves your well-being in the long run. This is where icareheal comes to help. We help you connect to some of the best doctors and clinics around you so that you can have medical aid whenever in need. We provide you with an all-in-one platform for doctors so that you are always sorted when in need of medical advice. Through this article, we will take you through some important things you should know when you are consulting a general physician for regular day-to-day ailments.
Who is a general physician?
A general physician/ primary care provider (or PCP) is a healthcare professional who helps you manage your health. He or she is the first person you talk to when you have any medical problem that is not an emergency. PCPs are usually doctors, sometimes called general care physicians. However, some nurses and physician assistants also provide primary care.
What does a General physician/Primary care provider do?
A primary care provider will have a long-term relationship with you, helping you stay healthy or get better when you’re sick. Your PCP will be your partner, sharing the responsibility for your physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Primary care providers are also called general practitioners, because they cover all types of everyday health concerns. Your PCP can answer questions about infections, chronic conditions or medicines. With regular visits, such as annual health checkups, your PCP will get to know much about you:
- Your current health.
- Your medical history.
- Your family’s medical history.
- Your treatment preferences and daily challenges.
- Your personality and lifestyle.
What can a General Physician do at checkups?
Everyday aspects of your history and lifestyle contribute to your overall health. A PCP will consider those factors and then:
- Teach you ways to make better decisions about your health to prevent disease. For example, your PCP can guide efforts to quit smoking, eat more nutritious foods or manage stress.
- Make sure your vaccines are up to date to prevent illnesses like the flu.
- Suggest screening tests to detect problems before you even notice them (like a mammogram for breast cancer).
- Treat health problems that pop up (such as a rash or an infection).
- Help you manage long-term health problems (for instance, diabetes, high blood pressure or depression).
- Find a medical specialist if you need one (like a knee surgeon or a heart doctor)
How can a General Physician help you?
Primary care physicians catch potential health problems early, before they become severe. People who have a PCP spend less time in the hospital and less money on medical costs in the long run.
A PCP gives you complete care over your lifespan. He or she will also know when you need more advanced care, like a hospital procedure or a specialist.
How can your General Physician help with Hypertension?
Asymptomatic high blood pressure can go undiagnosed for years and lead to more serious cardiovascular conditions. So, it’s important to keep your doctor appointments, including your annual wellness exam. Visiting your primary care doctor at least once a year—when you’re feeling well—will help them establish a baseline for your overall health. It also helps your doctor understand what’s normal for you and what is not.
At the first sign of elevated blood pressure, you and your primary care doctor can discuss simple dietary and lifestyle changes to help return your blood pressure to normal levels. When you treat your doctor like a health partner, they will be better equipped to provide the medical intervention early, before you experience any negative or lasting impacts to your health.
Doctors who specialize in family medicine are highly skilled in identifying and treating high blood pressure. Referral to a hypertension clinic, specialist or cardiologist is only necessary in a very small minority of people who have persistent and severe elevations in blood pressure despite treatment with multiple blood pressure medications.
How to choose a General physician?
When you are choosing a PCP, you may be able to schedule an interview to get to know the candidate. Ask questions that can help you decide if the person is a good fit for your personality, lifestyle and needs:
- What are your qualifications?
- Are you certified in primary care?
- Do you focus on disease prevention or treatment?
- Do you have a more conservative, or more aggressive, approach to treatment?
- How do you decide when a patient needs a specialist?
- How do you like to communicate (in person, on the phone, by email)?
- Whom would I talk to when you are on vacation?
You also may want to consider the PCP’s overall office setting and the staff at the PCP’s office:
- What are the office hours?
- How long does it usually take to get an appointment?
- Does the office do lab tests onsite or nearby?
- Are the staff members friendly?
- Do staff members respond to calls quickly?
Why should you have a General physician?
A PCP can help you stay healthy and can be the first to treat any health problems that arise. Make time to find a general physician who is a partner in your long-term care, and have regular checkups.
A relationship with a general physician can help you detect and manage a wide range of health issues. A general physician can teach you how to lead a healthier lifestyle, provide needed medications, screen for disease and recommend specialists when you need them. Look for a general physician who fits your personality and needs.