Three Ways Your Primary Care Physician Can Help You

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Family health care is one of the primary concerns that people have in this day and age. We all need to prioritize our health and the health of our loved ones, but that can be difficult when we’re busy and preoccupied, and for that reason perhaps reluctant to pay for medical care. The more proactive about your health you are, however, the less likely you will be to pay for unnecessary emergency medical treatment — and the more likely you will be to continue on in good health. One of the main reasons why people end up with those legendary astronomical medical bills, however, is unnecessary visits to the emergency room. People often think — thanks in part to TV depictions of emergency rooms — that if they visit these places they will get quick care. In fact, unless you are severely injured or ill, you do have to wait in the emergency room. For that matter, emergency room care typically comes at a high cost that could be in the thousands. This is why people need to know about things like after hours urgent care, free walk in clinics, and the availability of their primary care physicians. Family care physicians can do much more than you might think — and at a much lower cost that what emergency room physicians can provide. Let’s look at some of the things you can have accomplished at your family health clinic.

1. STD Testing

Nobody wants to deal with STD testing — but every now and then, something happens and you need to be sure that you are healthy. STD testing is paramount not only to your health but to the health of your sexual partners, and it can be accomplished at many family health clinics. Your primary care physician can also advise you about at home STD testing. Some primary care physicians offer at home STD testing kits for those who want to remain extremely discreet. For that matter, if you think that you may need to be tested in the future or on a regular basis for whatever reason, you may want to have at home STD testing kits available. However, at home STD testing is not an option for all diseases, and your primary care physician will either be able to administer the necessary tests at their office with the utmost discretion, or refer you to a place that can.

2. Skin Care

Skin care covers a number of different issues. While many primary care physicians are able to administer treatments for minor issues like acne or other blemishes, they can also help patients with deeper issues. Skin cancer is a big concern for Americans in particular, thanks to the extreme weather in some states and our obsession with tanning. Since 1975, skin cancer rates have tripled — not only due to our aptitude for tanning, but the depletion of the Earth’s ozone layers. It is true that sun damage, however, contributes to 80% of skin damage, more than smoking, dehydration, or inadequate sleep. You need to stay vigilant about your skin — look for strange moles or discoloration, especially if they change over a relatively short period of time. While your primary care physician obviously can’t help you decide whether or not a mole is cancerous, they can tell you whether or not you should see a specialized dermatologist. This way, you can save time and money that would have been spent on a dermatologist should your mole be benign — but you’re also taking the best care of your health by seeing a doctor.

3. Mental Health

While serious mental health concerns — including suicidal thoughts — need to be addressed with a mental health professional, if you have already been diagnosed with generalized depression your primary care physician may be able to prescribe medication. Depression is a serious issue, especially for the elderly whose depression rates range from 3% to 13.5%. A doctor is a good person to speak with, and they may be able to find medication that helps.

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