Primary care physicians and walk in health clinics meet the day to day health care needs of people. They can treat most common illnesses and injuries, and also conduct sport and workplace physical examinations. Family clinics provide maternal and child care, and treat chronic diseases and conditions. Primary care physician reviews online show that patients value a familiar face as their primary point of contact with the healthcare system.
The first point of contact with the healthcare system
Primary care physicians and neighborhood health clinics provide the first point of contact for patients with the healthcare system. Low cost health clinics provide medical care for the neighborhood, including such services as routine check-ups, preventative care and health education. They can also treat chronic conditions like high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and back pain.
With an aging population, family heath care providers also treat chronic conditions like Alzheimer?s. About one person out of 20 suffers from memory loss or Alzheimer?s. That?s a total of 30 million people worldwide. Another condition that disproportionately affects the elderly is depression. Anywhere from 3 to 13.5% of the elderly suffer from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Continuing and preventative care
As well as being the first point of contact with the healthcare system, family health clinics provide continuing medical care. This includes basic maternal and child services, like family planning and vaccinations. For families with children, a familiar face in the healthcare system provides a comforting point of reference.
Primary care physician reviews from patients also emphasize the importance of continuing care in the context of chronic diseases and conditions like back pain. Family physicians may provide referrals to specialists or to specialized medical facilities for certain treatments. However, by continuing to collaborate with the specialists, they offer patients their support, guidance and advice.
Primary care v. Emergency room
A large number of people don?t have a primary care physician or facility they can go to for their medical needs. Instead they rely on visits to the emergency room for any medical treatment. This has many disadvantages. Emergency rooms are overcrowded and frequently involve long waits to see a doctor. For someone who is already ill or injured, they can be very stressful places.
The wait time in ERs has actually been increasing, and between 2003 and 2009 it went from 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes. Going to a personal physician or a walk in family clinic for non-life threatening conditions is a much better option than the emergency room.
Online primary care physician reviews show that patients and families rely on them to connect with the healthcare system. Given their important role, the need for primary care physicians is projected to grow. By 2025, 52,000 more primary care physicians will be needed for the healthcare system.