When to See Your Primary Care Physician

When to See Your Primary Care PhysicianIf it has been a while since you last consulted with a primary care physician, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment. Even if you’re feeling healthy, your primary care physician can perform evaluations to identify potential medical concerns early and help ensure you feel your best well into the future.

What is Primary Care?

First, it’s important to understand the definition of primary care. A primary care physician (also often referred to as a PCP or general practitioner) is a doctor who serves as a patient’s “primary” source of care when health issues arise. Most primary care physicians specialize in family medicine, which focuses on whole-family health care for patients of all ages, or internal medicine, a discipline geared toward treating diseases that affect adults. Primary care physicians often treat acute illnesses like sinus infections and bronchitis, and provide long-term disease management for conditions like diabetes and asthma.  If a patient has more complex health needs, a primary care physician can refer them to a medical specialist for appropriate treatment.

Another aspect of primary care is preventive care. Primary care physicians perform physicals, give vaccines, and manage a patient’s preventive health schedule. For example, he or she may recommend specific cancer screenings or routine lab work if a patient is thought to be at an increased risk for a certain condition.

Should I Schedule an Appointment?

You should promptly speak your primary care physician if you notice any new or unusual symptoms that concern you, such as nasal congestion, a new rash, or unexplained stomach pain. Otherwise, consider with visiting your primary care physician at least once a year for a routine health check.

If you have one or more chronic diseases or are at a high risk of developing a certain condition, your primary care physician may recommend a more frequent schedule of preventive care.

Our Approach to Primary Care

Tufts Medical Center Community Care is a multispecialty medical group that includes primary care physicians who specialize in family medicine and internal medicine. A clinical affiliate of Tufts Medical Center, our practice offers a full spectrum of primary care at easily accessible locations throughout north suburban Boston. And, with easy appointment scheduling and weekend/evening appointment availability, we make it simple to speak with an experienced primary care physician close to home.

Contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician on our team. We serve patients of all ages and accept most major health insurance plans. If you have any questions about our services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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