What is primary care?
A Primary care provider is where you go when you get a cold, or a sinus infection...or if you think something may be not-quite-right with your health but you're not sure how to find out.
You can expect your doctor to talk with you about your symptoms, prior medical history and other health details, followed by a physical examination. When necessary, you may be administered screening tests and immunizations.
After close attention to your results, you and your doctor will create a plan for your care. Your plan may include further testing, specialist referral, medication, therapy, diet or life-style changes or education. Your doctor will follow up with you to be sure your plan is correctly customized for you.
Look for a doctor who:
- Is qualified to give quality care.
- Has the training and background that meet your needs.
- Takes steps to prevent illness-for example, talks to you about quitting smoking or getting to a healthy weight.
- Has privileges at the hospital of your choice.
- Is part of your health plan, unless you can you afford to pay extra.
- Encourages you to ask questions.
- Listens to you.
- Explains things clearly.
- Treats you with respect.