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What Is Primary Care?

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Primary Care in DC

If you’re like many patients, you may only visit a healthcare provider to address urgent medical issues, like a sinus infection, virus, or cold.

While primary care providers can assist in the diagnosis of acute conditions such as these, they’re also able to deliver a plethora of other healthcare services on an ongoing basis.

To better understand the scope of a primary care provider and practice, it’s important to clearly define this area of medicine.

So, what is primary care?

Continue reading to learn primary care’s role in the healthcare system as well as the capabilities of a primary care practice, a primary care physician, and non-physician providers.

What is Primary Care?

Primary care is an area of medicine designed to serve as an individual’s first point of contact to healthcare. It is not limited to a specific problem origin or organ system like cardiology or gynecology.

Rather, primary care offers a holistic approach to care, including health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention, counseling, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions.

Primary Care Practice

Patients seeking a primary care practice often have undifferentiated signs or symptoms and/or are looking to establish ongoing care with a personal physician.

This type of medical setting is often located within communities, to afford easy access to healthcare.

In addition, primary care practices often work collaboratively with other specialties to best meet the needs of their patients.

Primary Care Physician

A primary care physician is a medical doctor that has extensive education, training, and experience in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Pediatrics.

He or she is regarded as the patient’s first point of contact for any acute or chronic medical issue and is designated to deliver continuing medical care and guidance.

Primary Care Team

In order to answer the question – What is primary care? – it’s important to discuss the primary care team.

Physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, phlebotomists, and administrative staff contribute their skills and expertise to a primary care practice.

Non-physician providers (i.e. nurse practitioners and physician assistants) perform primary care services working with or under the supervision of a primary care physician.

Schedule a Primary Care Appointment Today

If you would like to learn more about primary care, call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rashbaum.

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