independently of the South Strand News news division.
Most of us, if we were fortunate enough, grew up having a family doctor. Some of us may have gone to the doctor more than we wanted to — to get stitched up if we had a cut, to get our throats swabbed when we had a pesky sore throat and to get our shots when it was time to head back to school.
Fast forward to today’s changing health care environment, and the doctor’s office of yesteryear has emerged as a “medical home,” reflecting a philosophy that your primary care doctor is someone who specializes in your whole health and the whole person. It is where your care begins.
All of us need and want a doctor who doesn’t have to look at our chart to know our name. We need a physician to guide us through today’s complex health care environment. Primary care doctors have completed residencies and are board-certified in their respective specialties.
Primary care physicians specialize in caring for the physical, mental and emotional well-being of patients and their families. They know how your family’s medical history and situation can affect your health. And they are trained to care for you through all the stages of your life. They know when to treat you and when to bring in another specialist you can trust. And they understand that you’re not just a collection of parts, symptoms or conditions. You’re a whole person, so they treat you like one.
Primary care physicians are also experienced with up-to-date treatments and technologies. They train for at least three years in real practice settings, treating patients in the office, the hospital and at home. And they re-certify in their specialties and keep up with the latest breakthroughs through continuing medical education.
In addition, primary care physicians are specially trained in preventive medicine. They believe that preventing a health problem is better than overcoming one. They’ll help you make the right health choices to keep you and your family healthy. Americans make hundreds of millions of office visits to primary care physicians annually, more than any other medical specialty.
If your family needs a primary care physician to serve as your “medical home,” visit tidelandshealth.org to find a listing of family physicians.