Why You Need a Primary Care Physician
Having a primary care physician (PCP) is important for many reasons. Dr. Nena Stanley, Internist with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group, explains.
A primary care physician takes care of the basics for you, including:
- Preventive care, like immunizations and screenings.
- Teaching healthy lifestyle choices.
- Identifying and treating common medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Assessing the urgency of medical problems and directing patients to the best place for care
- Making referrals to medical specialists when necessary
A primary care physician finds and evaluates clues about diagnosing more serious illnesses:
- Increased thirst and/or urine output, hand or feet numbness/tingling – diabetes
- Dizziness, shortness of breath, arm or leg pain, cold feet – early heart disease
- Headaches, dizziness, nose bleed – uncontrolled blood pressure
A primary care physician guides a patient through treatment of serious illnesses:
- Lifestyle changes
- Referral to specialists
A primary care physician can recommend early interventions to keep patients well:
- A healthy diet – at least 5 fruits/vegetables daily
- Exercise – 30 minutes, 5 times a week
- Stop smoking
- Stay hydrated – at least 4 glasses of water daily
- See your primary care doctor annually. Make your appointment today! If you need a PCP, we can help you find a doctor now.