A primary care doctor is usually a local doctor who is the first line of defense for any illness your family may experience. Life-threatening emergencies should still prompt a visit to the emergency room rather than to a primary care doctor, but there are many things that a primary care doctor can deal with. Broken bones, bad colds, sprained ankles, infections, you name it! Did you know that you can also visit your primary care doctor while you are healthy? While that may sound a little odd, here are a few things you can visit your primary physician for, even when you aren't sick.
A flu shot is a great idea every year. The influenza strain changes every year and scientists work tirelessly to figure out and predict which type of influenza is the most likely to affect people around the United States. In order to avoid getting this influenza, you and your family should all get a flu shot every year. People in your family who are especially susceptible to the flu include young children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Most physicians offer the flu shot.
A physical is a full body exam and a medical history review with your doctor. Most insurances cover a full physical every year, though many people do not get their physical every year. This could be due to a fear of physicians or what they may find. Physicals are a great idea because they are a form of preventive medicine. Instead of waiting for something to happen, you can be proactive about your health and make sure that you are doing well. Anyone can get a physical, but they are called different things for different ages. A child's physical is called a well-child exam. A woman's physical is called a well-woman exam. Sometimes, people participating in sports are required to get a physical before they can play. This is to get a baseline on their health and to ensure that they are healthy enough for sports.
While there is a lot of controversy around vaccines, most physicians still offer boosters or vaccines. A booster is an additional dose of a vaccine in order to boost your immune system. One reason to get a vaccine is if you are traveling to a third world country. There are many diseases in other countries that are more prevalent because not as many people are vaccinated. It is important to protect yourself when you are traveling abroad.
For more information on what a primary care physician can do for you, call a medical center.