Why do you need a primary care physician?

Staying healthy is best done with expert help. We all need medical care at some point. And if chronic illness strikes, it requires the guidance of someone with the ability to make diagnoses and balance treatments that are often aimed at different organ systems. Primary care physicians (PCPs) are generalists who see adult patients for common ailments including respiratory infections, headaches, back pain, and urinary infections. They also manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, anxiety, and depression. In addition, PCPs have expertise in managing multiple treatments, medications, and the interactions between them. They can address the entire person, taking into account their values, beliefs, and preferences. The explosion of medical knowledge and treatment alternatives makes it important to have a generalist to interpret and advise on the best course of action. This often requires communication with specialists, who are usually expert in a specific condition or organ system, and coordination of care with patients and families. Study reinforces benefits of primary care A study published earlier this year in JAMA Internal Medicine examined the value of primary care. Researchers analyzed survey results from 49,286 US adults with a PCP and 21,133 US adults without a PCP. They found that adults with primary care were significantly more likely to fill more prescriptions and to have a routine preventive visit in the past year. They wer...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Health Source Type: blogs

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