CONTINUITY OF CARE
People who make a commitment to their health see great benefits in establishing a regular relationship with a Family Medicine doctor, who not only provides continuity of care for individuals of all ages but can also:
- Provide preventive and routine screenings
- Provide long-term management of chronic conditions
- Provide referrals to specialists and collaborate with them in your care
- Coordinate the care given to you by hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and long-term care facilities
- Act as a comprehensive repository for your medical records
- Aid in helping you determine healthy lifestyle choices
Continuous care with a primary care physician is particularly important for patients with complex medical conditions that require prolonged treatment and monitoring, such as diabetes and hypertension. “Some people think that seeing a physician on a regular basis actually increases health care costs because you access health resources more often. That is not necessarily true,” says Michael Roach, MD, a Medical Director of the Saint Alphonsus Medical Group. “Seeing a physician for appropriate preventive screenings provides you the opportunity to detect disease at an earlier, more treatable stage, saving you thousands of dollars in health care costs in the long run.”
FOCUS ON THE WHOLE PERSON
A Family Medicine doctor not only can help with undiagnosed health concerns, but their scope of practice also encompasses physical, mental, and social health issues across all ages and stages of life. Their extensive healthcare capabilities are possible due to the wide breadth of knowledge they possess in all areas of medicine. In addition to treating the acutely ill, they manage chronic disease and guide preventative measures aimed at optimizing patients’ health.
In this capacity, they perform annual physical exams, administer immunizations, coordinate referrals to specialists, perform infant and pediatric well-visits, provide end-of-life care for geriatric patients, address prenatal and women’s health issues, and manage behavioral health.
A HEALTH COACH
It is important to have a Family Medicine doctor to help you develop a plan towards a healthier lifestyle and improve the quality of your and your family’s life. Your doctor is your coach to help you meet your goals, such as weight management, exercise, and better nutrition that moves you towards a healthier life and a healthier you.
It is also important to remember that you have a choice in which doctor you decide to work with, so be diligent to find one that you trust and communicate with well. When you do see your doctor, make sure you have any previous applicable records, all your medications, and a list of your concerns. Throughout your life and your health care needs, a family doctor can grow a healthy working relationship that will help you stay happier and healthier.
To find a Family Medicine provider near you, call 208-367-DOCS or visit www.saintalphonsus.org/docs today.