From an interview with
Dr. Allie Whitley
McLeod Primary Care Seacoast
Even with the rise of a multitude of specialists in recent decades, people still depend heavily on their primary care physician. McLeod Primary Care Physician Dr. Allie Whitley explains why that’s a good idea.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Whitley’s comments:
The role of a primary care physician is to take care of the whole person. We take care of acute and chronic conditions. Acute conditions are like your colds and stomachaches. Chronic conditions are like high blood pressure and diabetes, which we also manage. If you have a condition that we do not manage, we can refer you to specialists.
Primary care physicians focus on prevention with screenings and vaccinations. It’s important to get those screening tests, so we can catch a problem early. Same thing with like the flu. We give you the flu vaccine to help prevent the flu. As a primary care physician, we are able to assist you in getting the appropriate screenings, such as mammograms, bone densities and colonoscopies. We can also help assist you with getting your vaccine for influenza, pneumonia, tetanus boosters, and even shingles vaccines.
It’s important to have a family physician, because they can look at your overall health history. They have the big picture. An urgent care may only have little snippets of your health history. You want somebody, who knows everything. For instance, if we’re prescribing a medication, it helps to know what other medications you’re on, so you’re not prescribed a medication that may cause harmful interactions.