Most of us have a primary care physician (PCP), but not everyone truly understands what they do and how they can benefit a person’s health and well-being.
A primary care provider is more than just a doctor to see for annual checkups, flu shots, or referrals to specialists. You may be surprised to discover all the conditions your primary care doctor can treat. In other words, there’s much more to your PCP than you may have thought.
For starters, a PCP is often the first person that patients of all ages, genders, and medical histories turn to when they have a health concern. These doctors’ experience and knowledge is broad and comprehensive to be able to provide care for a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.
Disease Prevention, Detection, and Management
Your PCP is looking to prevent diseases before they start. In a typical primary care physician’s office, screenings and tests for issues like high blood pressure and cancer are fairly standard, in addition to physicals and wellness exams. PCPs also commonly administer vaccines to prevent illnesses and infections.
When these doctors are unable to prevent a disease, they can try to spot it at its earliest stages. This is most easily done when a patient regularly visits their PCP. Everything, including breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease can be detected in your PCP’s office and your primary care provider can help you halt its progression.
PCPs can diagnose a whole range of diseases. They can determine if your chest pains are due to cardiac or gastrointestinal issues, or if your headaches are neurological or ophthalmologic in origin. If your primary care provider is unable to make a diagnosis, he or she can refer you to a trusted specialist and perform the preliminary testing to expedite your diagnosis and care.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your PCP can help you manage the condition. Most chronic diseases are monitored by primary care physicians. PCPs also oversee the care a patient receives from other professionals, such as specialists and visiting nurses.
Select Procedures and More
Primary care providers can also perform specific procedures such as the draining of an abscess, minor skin surgeries, PAP smears, and IUD insertions. Be sure to ask which procedures your provider can perform for you.
Some patients find it comforting and informative to discuss their end-of-life concerns and plans with their primary care provider. Even if a patient is healthy and foresees decades of life left, it’s still recommended a person express their end-of-life wishes with their PCP, just in case the patient becomes incapacitated.
Finding a qualified and dedicated primary care provider is incredibly important to your health and well-being. Lynx Healthcare offers a variety of medical care services, including interventional pain medicine, regenerative medicine, chiropractic and massage therapy, and much more. To make an appointment at one of the Lynx Healthcare clinics in Oregon, Yakima, Tri-Cities, or Goldendale, call us at (509) 591-0070, or contact our Spokane clinic at (509) 321-4575. We look forward to helping to keep you active and enjoying life.