Accidents are inevitable, so there will always be a need for emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. For regular medical needs and maintenance, however, having a consistent medical practitioner can be helpful and necessary for better care options. A family doctor can facilitate those needs and provide trusted and complete healthcare.
The Role of a Family Doctor
What is a family doctor? He or she is a primary care physician who serves as the first point of contact for everyday medical needs. If a family member appears feverish, develops a rash or gets the flu, the family doctor is the anchor for handling diagnoses and treatments. Family doctors treat a variety of medical issues, and they are trained to meet the needs of children, teens, adults and elderly family members.
“It is important to have a trusted primary care provider to work as your partner in maintaining your health and well-being. Most importantly, your primary care provider establishes ‘continuity of care’ with you, understanding you as an individual and seeing the big picture of your health. They also serve as your advocate to refer to specialists when needed and help you to prevent future illness.”
Consistent, Trusted Care
Wellness is a lifelong journey, and a family doctor clinic can be the link that unifies effective healthcare treatments over years of medical visits. By using one primary physician and facility, medical records, prescriptions and treatments will be housed in one place. This will allow more consistent care for family members over the course of their lives.
Trust is a key element in any medical relationship, and that trust can be solidified with a primary family doctor. He or she will understand the lifestyle, habits, health goals and values that all contribute to your family’s personal makeup. Those elements cannot necessarily be pinpointed by exams, but they are vital to your overall health and wellness. They should be managed only by a medical professional with whom you have a great rapport.
Chapel Hill Primary Care Physician Allison Valentine says, “It is important to have a trusted primary care provider to work as your partner in maintaining your health and well-being. Most importantly, your primary care provider establishes ‘continuity of care’ with you, understanding you as an individual and seeing the big picture of your health. They also serve as your advocate to refer to specialists when needed and help you to prevent future illness.”
Regular Health Exams and Checkups
Good health is always best when handled proactively. Routine checkups are excellent tools for discovering and solving acute health issues, but they are even better when used preemptively. You should visit your healthcare professional for periodic visits even when you feel healthy.
Your family doctor will conduct regular health exams to ensure all medical milestones are being met and general health numbers and levels are optimal. These visits also provide an opportunity for you to talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have regarding variations in your health. Regular checkups can result in early detection or even prevention of an illness or positive changes in simple everyday activities to maintain good health.
Family History and Documentation
Families rely on primary physicians for much more than occasional sick visits. Their doctor plays a crucial part in documenting familial health history. Families share genes, and those genes determine several factors that directly affect the health patterns within the family.
Parents are often oblivious to the ways a relative’s ailments could potentially relate to their child’s issues. Family doctors gather all the facts regarding your family’s medical history and use it to more effectively make diagnoses and suggest treatment options. Knowledge of past illnesses and predispositions may give your family doctor an advantage in helping you prevent future sickness.
The beginning of the school year brings with it new tasks to be accomplished. A fresh start can be both rewarding and overwhelming, but your family doctor can help cross a few medical “to-do” items off the list. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that all children have a family-centered doctor’s office so the medical care is continuous and seamless. A primary physician can help with:
- Sports physicals. Back-to-school means selecting a sport to play, which typically requires a two-part preparticipation physical examination administered by a doctor.
- Vaccinations. For the younger family members, vaccinations must be considered, as nearly all schools and childcare centers require up-to-date immunization records. The National Institutes of Health agrees that vaccines have been proven effective for ensuring protection against infectious diseases.
- Screenings. Your family doctor can oversee vision, hearing and scoliosis testing that will ensure your child can function and succeed in the classroom without physical challenges.
Your family doctor can be more than a medical resource; he or she can also become a vital component of generational wellness. If you are looking for a dedicated family doctor who can oversee your family’s healthcare, contact us to schedule an appointment. At Chapel Hill Doctors, we have four providers ready to care for you: Physician Allison Valentine, Physician Julie McGregor, and Nurse Practitioner Paul Dunn. Our medical teams are trained and ready to meet your family’s various health and wellness needs for years to come.