Primary care is the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by physicians and their health care teams who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. The care is person-centered, team-based, community-aligned, and designed to achieve better health, better care, and lower costs.
One part of primary care focuses on wellness and prevention. To keep you healthy and free of disease, your primary care doctor will likely:
- take a careful look at your health history so they can determine what risk factors you may face
- offer vaccinations to keep you from catching a disease
- perform screenings so they can catch health issues early
- coach you on lifestyle changes you can make to stave off illness in the future
Another part of primary care is acute healthcare. These are issues or injuries that may come on suddenly and typically don’t have a long-term impact on your health. A couple of examples would include a twisted ankle on the basketball court or a nagging cough/cold. Your primary care provider is the place you would go for treatment of these types of issues.
Primary care is also an excellent resource for helping you manage chronic, long-term conditions like diabetes or asthma. Because they work with you over a period of time, they are able to monitor changes in your health, treat many conditions, or help decide if a specialist is needed.