What a Primary Care Physician Says Primary Care Physicians Do
Over the years, patients have taught me that “Health is the soundness of body, mind, and spirit that satisfies you and allows you to make a meaningful contribution to others.” In other words, you are happy with yourself and enjoy being a part of your community and surroundings.
What Primary Care Physicians Do
To make our patients’ vision a reality, Primary Care Physicians (PCP) serve as interpreters of our patients’ “body talk,” keepers of their medical story, advocates to additional skillful, thoughtful help when needed, and guides through sometimes uncertain, complex or frightening situations. Help can be specialists as well as activities, counseling, and as needed, medicine.
I teach my medical students that when a patient brings us a bothersome symptom, we use a three-pronged approach:
1) Think about the worst things that could cause it and be sure it’s not that.
2) Think about the most common causes and treat or observe for those.
3) Take the time to watch together and in so doing, avoid causing harm by unnecessary testing and unhelpful treatment as many symptoms will resolve over time given the initial ‘care plan.’
How Primary Care Physicians Help
We help prevent what we can (such as providing vaccines and education to prevent infections, unwanted pregnancy, avoidable diseases or accidents). We work to minimize the impact of unavoidable conditions on daily life (such as diagnose and manage hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and depression to protect one’s capacity to live fully and joyfully throughout their natural lifespan).
What Makes HIPnation Different
Now, as part of HIPnation, we seek and share transparency in out-of-pocket costs to allow patients to make choices that protect their financial resources (one facility may charge four to five times the cost of an MRI at a free-standing radiology facility). And this new way (you could also say the old, old way) of caring for patients includes close communication with collaborating specialists who consider individual patient needs and risk factors. This allows us to treat our patients not as protocols, but as the treasures we have always known they are.
If this is the kind of a doctor you want caring for you, and you want to have a relationship with, then you’re invited to join HIPnation. To learn more, visit our website or contact us about attending our “Dare to Ask a Doctor” open house.
Written by Dwana M. Bush, M.D.