A primary care physician can act as your first line of defense against certain health conditions. These doctors know how to take preventative measures to keep patients healthy. It's important to find a qualified primary care physician you can trust so that the two of you can work together to ensure better health for yourself.
Treatment of Illnesses
If you suddenly become sick with a respiratory infection, a stomach problem, or another illness, your primary care physician should be the first medical professional you should see unless you're dealing with an emergency medical situation. After explaining your symptoms, your primary care doctor will perform an examination and may run some additional tests to diagnose your illness correctly so that the appropriate treatment can be prescribed. Additional tests that doctors often perform for diagnostic purposes include:
- Throat cultures
- Nasal swabs
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
After the diagnosis is made, the primary care physician may then prescribe antibiotics or other medications to treat the illness. If your illness is caused by a virus, your doctor may be able to treat some of the symptoms and will likely advise you to rest until the course of the viral infection has passed.
This doctor can perform a variety of health checkups to look for certain medical conditions that you might be unaware of if you haven't experienced any symptoms. Some underlying health problems may be relatively minor and can be treated quickly while others could be serious conditions that will require more aggressive treatments and long-term monitoring. During a routine health screening, your primary care physician may order a blood or urine test for you and perform a physical examination to check for any suspicious lumps or other abnormalities of the body. Primary care health screenings are often effective in identifying underlying health problems like:
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Lung disease
Medical Specialist Referrals
Some medical conditions require specialized care to manage, and your primary care physician can refer you to a specialist if you need more than just standard treatment for your medical condition. You may also need to see a specialist if you need diagnostic testing for a possible medical condition that your primary care doctor suspects you of having. If you were to try to visit a specialist before going to your primary care physician for a referral, your health insurance company may not be willing to pay for your care. The specialist might also refuse to see you without a referral, so it's best to see a primary care physician first before you seek specialized treatment.
Your primary care physician can help you live better throughout each phase of your life. The right doctor can offer you the complete care that you deserve and see you at a time that fits within your schedule. To learn more information, reach out to a company such as Medical Associates Of Bedford VA.