Despite the hundreds of thousands of practicing primary care physicians in the country, the term “primary care” can still seem like a general, ambiguous term for some people, especially those with little to no medical background. It can leave them wondering what it exactly means and what a primary care physician actually does.
Primary care physicians (PCPs) indeed provide general medical care. They diagnose, treat, and help prevent a myriad of health issues. Because there are different types of PCPs (e.g., internal medicine physicians (adult patients); pediatricians (infants, children, and adolescents); family medicine physicians (patients of all ages); etc.), considering your age, gender, and specific healthcare needs can help you determine which one you should see.
To help you get a better grasp of how you could benefit from being under the care of a primary care physician, below are some of the specific medical problems they can treat, manage, and help you avoid.
Acute Medical Problems Your PCP Can Help With
If you are acutely ill, your PCP can either accommodate you for a sick visit, or direct you to the emergency room (ER), if your needs are very pressing.
Listed below are some of the most common acute and minor medical problems your PCP stabilizes and treats:
- Allergy and asthma attacks
- Minor injuries- sprains, strains, etc.
- Minor burns
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Respiratory infections (e.g., pneumonia)
- Scrapes, lacerations, and shallow cuts
- Sinus and ear infections
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Interventions for acute medical problems include prescription medications, sutures, and bandaging, among others.
Chronic Health Issues Your PCP Can Manage
Chronic medical conditions are broadly defined as health problems that persist for longer than a year and that have no cure: they can only be managed or controlled with ongoing treatment. Research estimates that they account for approximately 75 percent of all primary care visits.
Some of the most common chronic conditions your primary care physician can help manage to include the following:
- Allergies and asthma
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – emphysema and bronchitis
- Depression and other mental/behavioral disorders
- Heart problems (e.g., heart failure, coronary artery disease, etc.)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Parkinson’s disease
If you have a chronic medical condition, your primary care physician can help you with routine check-ups, medication management, patient education, and care coordination with the appropriate specialist to ensure the best possible treatment outcome.
Primary care physicians also provide preventive health care, meaning even if you don’t have existing chronic health problems, but you have risk factors, you can all the more benefit from your PCP’s expertise. Through routine screenings as well as nutritional and lifestyle strategies, your PCP can help reduce your likelihood of developing certain conditions.
Primary Care Physician in The Bronx, NY
At Starling Diagnostics, we just don’t stop at providing top-notch diagnostic imaging services. We are also staffed with board-certified primary care physicians who are genuinely invested in promoting the health and well-being of the men and women in the communities we serve, and thus, constantly strive to provide unmatched quality healthcare services.
Need a primary care physician? Call us, and we’ll set you up with one of our providers. We can be reached at (718) 319-1610. You may also request an appointment right here on our website, and our scheduler will contact you promptly.