Why You Need a Primary Care Physician - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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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:

  • Education
  • Medication
  • 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.

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