Primary care providers are your one-stop shop for almost all your medical needs. While learning more about you and your needs, they become your advocate and advisor in getting you to adjust to the new way of living.
Some sicknesses do not require you to look for “primary care doctors near me” and can be treated at home. Some illnesses, however, present themselves as minor but are signs of a much bigger issue.
Unfortunately, you cannot make a distinction between the two scenarios without the help of a primary care doctor. Primary care physicians are the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to medicine. The individuals practice general medicine instead of specializing in one field.
In fact, their specialty is general knowledge. With primary care physicians near you, you’re more likely to maximize the value of your primary care check-up.
Increasing the Value of Your Primary Care Check-Up
Some people cannot remember the last time they went to a doctor for an annual check-up. If you’re part of this group, then you are missing a huge opportunity to take your health into your own hands.
Seeing a doctor at least once a year should be non-negotiable. But there are also some things that you can do before and during your appointment to make it worthwhile. Here is how you can increase the value of your primary care check-up.
- Make and Keep Your Appointments Every Year
Being a preventive service means that primary care is the cornerstone of your health. This is where you get to discuss an illness, your wellness, and ways of staying healthy and free of diseases in the future.
Thus, you should view your annual checkup as another issue that you need to cross off your to-do list. Also, primary care check-up is not something that you can cancel because your schedule needs breathing room. You must approach it as a chance to be proactive with your health.
- Communicate From the Start About What You Want From the Appointment
You’ll make better use of your visit to the doctor by thinking about what you want to get from the appointment. Then you’ll be required to communicate those priorities.
Is fatigue the problem or are you trying to lose weight? If you need to cut your risk of heart attacks, communicate at the beginning of the visit. This is better than saying, “Oh, by the way doctor..” The doctor might just get the issue written off until your next appointment.
You should start your communication with the doctor by saying something like, “I’m here for my annual visit. But I’d like to know more about 1, 2, 3.”.
- Find Out if Any Changes Need to be Made to Your Medication
You must review your current medications during your annual visit. This is very important if you’re seeing a new doctor. It will help them to know whether you’re taking the right medication and if any there is a need of refills.
You must also let the doctor know if you’re having issues with your current medication. If they present a new medication, find out about the side effects or possible interactions with your current medications that you must know of.
Additionally, you must get informed about how often and for how long you’ll need to take a particular medication. If you’re concerned about the cost of the medication, be sure to ask about possible alternatives.
- Have Your Test Results Explained
Before your examination, the doctor might have requested that certain tests be done regularly. In most cases, the results provide information about the chronic conditions that you may have. The results help doctors in determining whether you’re at risk of certain diseases or other health problems.
Thus, it’s important that you ask the primary care physician what the tests mean and whether they are positive or negative. If the primary care doctor finds a problem, ask them what it is and how to address it. Understanding your test results will give you a better idea of your current health. It will also help you to know what you can do to improve the condition.
- Bring Details About Your Medical History During Your Visit
Your primary care doctor knows your whole medical history. They are the gatekeeper that will help you understand everything that’s going on with you.
If you searched for “primary care doctor near me” and found a new one, it’s important that you bring all the components of your health’s history. That should include:
- Lab work
- Screening test results
- Immunization records
- Details of emergency room visits
- Results of tests that were ordered by a specialist in your previous checkup.
You may be one of those patients who don’t remember when they had their last tetanus shot. What about your last mammogram, when was it done? Failure to have information on such questions will prevent your new doctor from making a good decision. That’s why we recommend that you come to the appointment with written details about your health record.
You may need to call your previous doctor for your records. Alternatively, you can ask family members for that information. You must also remember that your medical history includes that of your family. This is because of the genetic component to a lot of health issues.
It’s important to let the doctor know whether certain health conditions run in the family. Such genetic illnesses include high blood pressure, alcoholism, and chronic illnesses. Let the doctor know if there’s a family member who had an early onset form of the disease.
- Be Honest About Your Vices
Questions like how often do you smoke, drink, or have unprotected sex are not meant to intrude on your private life. They aren’t meant to elicit a lecture from your doctor either.
The questions are only supposed to give the doctor a full picture that’s required to give you the best care. So you must be frank and answer honestly. Don’t be afraid to mention that you use cocaine once in a while or that you drink a bottle of wine on some weekends.
This is important because there are potential drug interactions that can affect your medication. Moreover, drug abuse can increase your risk of certain health issues.
Excessive drinking, for instance, can cause gastritis while smoking can cause infections in your upper respiratory system. Giving the doctor this information will enable them to give you the right diagnosis and treatment.
Primary care is the cornerstone of the health care sector. It’s effective, efficient, and meets the needs of patients, families, and communities.
Currently, the primary care system has significant opportunities to emphasize on quality improvements, in ways that can fundamentally improve healthcare. To guarantee success, there is a need to build and sustain the ability of primary care practice to engage in quality improvement activities.
- How can primary care practice get improved?
Primary care is the cornerstone of health care that’s effective and efficient. It must be able to meet the needs of patients, families, and communities. As such, there must be significant and unprecedented opportunities to emphasize quality improvements(QI). There must also be efforts to practice redesign in ways that can fundamentally improve health.
- What are the values of primary health care?
The values of healthcare are driven by certain principles. Some of these principles are public participation, accessibility, health promotion, and the appropriate skills and technology.
- What are the things to consider when choosing primary care?
Your primary care physician is your go-to resource for your health care needs as they can advise, educate, and treat you. They also help patients in making important decisions about their health. That’s why it’s important that you consider finding a doctor that’s trustworthy and one that you can talk to openly.
To find the right doctor, consider recommendations from friends and family. Find out if the doctor will be available when you need an appointment and if they are an expert in treating people with your condition.