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What is Adult Primary Care?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Adult primary care is a type of focused healthcare support that provides adults with a single point of entry to the resources necessary for the timely treatment of various ailments and to maintain an equitable standard of health. For most people, adult primary care is provided by one medical professional, known as a primary care physician. Primary care doctors may be physicians who focus on general medical practice to all adults, or a specialist who focuses on treatment of a specific group of patients based on age group or gender.

The goal of adult primary care is to provide a simple and direct means of receiving healthcare that is necessary to maintain good general health. This primary healthcare also serves as the basic environment where the need for specialized health care can be assessed and initiated if necessary. Primary care physicians are capable of evaluating any set of circumstances surrounding a particular patient and making a decision to refer the patient to a specialist, if the situation calls for healthcare that is focused on a specific health condition.

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In many instances, primary care medicine is all that is needed to maintain good health. A primary care doctor is usually capable of handling routine illnesses with ease. Most doctors who function as general practitioners can also handle a number of health issues that require some degree of specialization, as long as the scope of treatment is not intense. For example, a general practitioner is capable of diagnosing depression and anxiety, running tests to determine if there is a physical reason for the emotional imbalance, and prescribe medication to help correct the health issue. Should the primary care physician determine that more aggressive treatment is required, the doctor can refer to the patient to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional, depending on the specific symptoms evidenced by the patient.

The orderly introduction of specialists into medical cases is one of the characteristics that makes adult primary care so important. A great deal of time and effort is saved by the work accomplished by a primary care physician before referring a patient to a specialist. All the data compiled by the general practitioner is at the disposal of the specialist, making it possible to immediately focus the scope of treatment and begin the process of healing. This structured and orderly approach to healthcare can and does make it possible to save lives that would have otherwise been lost if the patient had to seek out the right specialist and undergo repetitive rounds of tests until the right course of treatment was determined.

Taking the time to make use of adult primary care is extremely important, especially as adults move into middle age and beyond. Adult care includes annual physical examinations to make sure the individual is enjoying a level of health that is considered normal for someone of that age and gender. Routine health care can also help identify serious health conditions while they are still in early development, making it possible to initiate treatment before the health issue has a chance to do a great deal of damage to the body.

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