Primary care medicine is a collective term that refers to health care extended by a single provider who functions as the main resource for the maintenance of good health. In most cases, a primary care physician provides this type of medical care. Primary care doctors tend to evaluate the needs of their patients, treat a wide range of ailments, and recommend the use of specialists when and as needed.
There are a number of advantages to primary care medicine. The most obvious is that each patient has a beginning point to seek consultation on any type of pain or discomfort currently being experienced. Because primary care physicians have a broad range of expertise with a number of ailments, it is possible to identify the origin of the discomfort, diagnose the ailment, and administer treatment to help alleviate the suffering. This can all be done with one physician rather than having to see multiple doctors for different ailments.
Another benefit to primary care medicine is that the process saves a great deal of time should the patient require the services of a medical specialist. Because the primary care doctor has already run preliminary testing and gathered relevant data, the specialist does not have to duplicate those efforts. For the patient, this means the opportunity for receiving effective treatment sooner rather than later. This can be especially important if the patient is dealing with a particularly devastating condition that is likely to require extended care.
Primary care medicine can involve the identification and treatment of a wide range of ailments. General practitioners are proficient with many different types of conditions, making it possible to identify health issues quickly and efficiently. Primary health care can often identify ailments such as high blood pressure, the onset of diabetes, depression and anxiety, chemical imbalances, back issues and even conditions like COPD. By having a primary care physician, the patient is usually able to receive timely treatment before the condition has a chance to progress.
When seeking a physician to provide primary care medicine, it is important to evaluate the credentials of the doctor, as well as determine if the patient and the physician can establish a productive working rapport. Should either party feel uneasy about the working relationship, it is usually a good idea to look for primary care from another source. Fortunately, many communities maintain listings of physicians who practice primary care medicine, making it very easy to identify and investigate other doctors in the area.