What Does A Primary Care Physician Do And Why Do You Need One?
Health Care

What Does A Primary Care Physician Do And Why Do You Need One?

Whenever you experience symptoms of a specific illness or simply feel discomfort severe enough to seek medical care, you do not visit the specialists right away. There is always a doctor (most commonly your family doctor) who examines you and tells you if you need further help. In several cases, the health complication is resolved by this doctor themselves.

These are primary care physicians.

Primary care physicians play an important role in the medical sector and handle a wide range of health conditions. They offer holistic medical care and counseling to their patients. Most family doctors fall under this category. These healthcare professionals establish long-term relationships with their patients and their family members. Their contribution to the medical care people receive today is immense. If you are looking for such doctors for yourself or your loved ones, you can look for the right recommendations or simply Google “ general physicians near me.” Assess the healthcare providers in your locality and you have a primary care physician on board!

Before understanding these doctors better, let us answer the most basic question: What is a primary care physician?


What Is A Primary Care Physician?

As the name suggests, primary care physicians are the doctors who offer primary medical care to their patients. They are often the first healthcare professionals a person approaches when they need medical help. While they may specialize in specific areas, they are often equipped to handle a wide range of health conditions.

Primary care physicians don many hats and shoulder many responsibilities. From diagnosing their patients and conducting regular checkups to treating injuries and offering healthcare counseling, these doctors do their best to give their patients long and healthy lives. Unless you are dealing with an unavoidable emergency that requires a specialist, it is advisable to receive primary medical care from these physicians. In fact, if needed, they will lead you to the most suitable specialist in your city for further help.


What Does A Primary Care Physician Do?

In simple words, a primary care physician diagnoses, treats, and consults their patients regarding a wide range of health issues. Also called general practitioners, they are the first points of contact for almost any illness. Whether you are suffering from a cough, cold, high blood pressure, body aches, or injuries, your primary care physician will have a solution for the same.

These healthcare professionals conduct physical examinations and make necessary medical assessments before coming to a conclusion. If they think the issue at hand is serious, they may ask you to get certain tests done. Once these tests are done, they examine the reports and guide their patients further. If a patient needs to visit a specialist, they will refer them to the right one.

Primary care physicians also conduct regular health checkups. They are often aware of a patient’s inherent health tendencies, especially if the two have been associated for a long time. These doctors help you with the help of specific information, such as your current medical condition, your medical history, your family’s medical history, your personality, your lifestyle, and your treatment preferences.


Different Types of Primary Care Physicians

While all primary care physicians are capable of handling a plethora of different health conditions, they hold different titles depending on their expertise. Here are the most common types of primary care physicians one can approach:

  • Pediatricians: These primary care physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating children as well as young adults
  • Family Practitioners: Also known as family doctors, these professionals look into the health conditions of people of all ages, especially in the same family
  • Internists: Also known as internal medical doctors, their medical care is restricted to adults
  • Geriatricians: These physicians diagnose, treat, and consult elderly patients
  • Obstetricians: Along with gynecologists, these healthcare professionals look after women-centric health complications.

Apart from these healthcare professionals, the nursing staff that works with them should also be mentioned and included in the category of primary caregivers. They shoulder the complete responsibility of assisting the doctors and looking after every patient with the utmost care.


Primary Care Vs Emergency Care

While primary care physicians are the Jacks of all trades, it is important to know when to seek emergency care and approach the specialists directly. Here are a few severe health complications that demand emergency care over primary care:

  • Immediate heart attack symptoms (intense chest pain, breathing difficulties, cold sweat, etc.)
  • Stroke symptoms (drooping face, slurry speech, numbness on one body side, etc.)
  • Blood loss due to a severe injury
  • Serious allergy reactions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Rapid pulse
  • Internal blood clots
  • Bone fractures
  • Joint dislocation
  • Head injuries
  • Sudden vision loss


Benefits of Having Access to Primary Care Physicians

Now that we know who these healthcare experts are and what they are equipped to do, let us understand why you need access to primary care physicians:


Varied Expertise

As opposed to specialists, primary care physicians possess varied expertise. From cough and cold to musculoskeletal complications, you can approach these doctors for almost anything that is not too severe to treat. This is why these physicians often end up becoming family doctors as people need not consult different doctors for different conditions.


Long-term Relationships

People are likely to consult their primary physicians several times a year, leading to long-term relationships. There are several cases of such doctors treating multiple generations of the same family. When you build such a strong bond with a healthcare professional, it gives you confidence and assurance of having trusted medical support.


Medical Counseling

Along with diagnosing and treating your illness, a primary care physician can also offer personalized medical counseling. Especially if they know your medical history and your underlying health complications, they can give you invaluable tips to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. The level of trust in one’s relationship with their doctor makes them reach out to the profession for correct advice.


Preventive Care

Your primary care physician will not only tend to your existing health concerns but also ensure that you stay away from unwanted health conditions in the future. Depending on your tendencies and medical history, these doctors give you the right tips to stay healthy and keep illnesses at bay.


Virtual Consultations

Thanks to technological advancements, primary care physicians can now offer virtual consultations. Services like Doctor on Call allow you to consult your doctor via audio or video calls. Unless a hospital visit is inevitable, your doctor can diagnose you and take your vitals through modern software tools. You no longer need to visit them to get your blood pressure, heart rate, and other details measured. After consulting, your physician can prescribe the right medicines and get you on the road to recovery from the comfort of your home!


Provisions for Home Nursing

Many primary care physicians also offer home nursing services. They send their assistants and nursing staff to their patients’ homes to provide short-term or long-term nursing care. These professionals keep track of the patient’s health throughout the day and ensure that they recover from their home. These services are ideal for elderly patients who find it difficult to make regular hospital visits. Moreover, older patients tend to recover faster with their loved ones around.


Cost-effective Care

Another major benefit of working with a primary care physician is that they offer pocket-friendly care. Especially if you are not facing serious health concerns, going directly to a specialist doctor or an emergency room can cost you a fortune. A general physician, on the other hand, will examine you and give you a personalized consultation at a much lower price. Moreover, doctors who have been associated with patients for a long time often offer exclusive discounts on their bills.


Having the Best Resources in Town

Your primary care physician is likely to lead you to the best resources in town. If they know your medical history and health condition well, you can benefit from the access they have to resources like medicines, pharmacists, equipment, and various tools that help you lead a healthy life.


Access To Emergency Help

Once you build a relationship with a primary care physician, you can seek their help whenever you or your loved ones face an emergency. In most cases, doctors do not hesitate to offer medical care to their long-term patients at any time of the day. However, if there are specific protocols to follow, make sure you adhere to them while approaching your physician.


Receive Personalized Primary Care from Your Home with Docville

If you are looking for a qualified and professional primary care physician for you and your family, Docville brings holistic medical care to your home. We give you access to some of the best general physicians in Mumbai who offer services like Doctor on Call, home nursing, and more. Irrespective of the patient’s age, we ensure that our clients receive comprehensive care while staying in tune with the latest technological advancements. With Docville, you eliminate barriers like location, transportation, and long wait times by receiving medical care with a few simple clicks!