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What You Should Know About Primary Care

FNP Sandra Headrick with a patient during a primary care visit at Phelps Health Medical Group Salem
Primary care providers ensure that patients get the right care, in the right setting, by the most appropriate provider, and in a manner consistent with their desires and values.

Published on May 3, 2022

Read Time: Two Minutes

Below are seven things to know about primary care:

A primary care provider is a one-stop shop for all of your healthcare needs.

A primary care physician, or provider, is a doctor or advanced practice provider (APP) who is able to care for a patient’s needs. This provider is the first access point into the healthcare system who can manage a patient’s chronic conditions, recommend preventive care and offer referrals to specialists.

Establish care with a doctor or healthcare provider.

To establish care with a primary care provider, learn more about providers who fit your specific needs. You may call (573) 364-9000 or make an appointment via MyChart.

Preventive care can help find problems early.

Preventive care helps detect or prevent serious diseases and medical problems before they become major. Preventive care can include vaccines or screenings for breast, cervical or prostate cancer, for example. Many people do not realize that there are certain age ranges that screenings should take place. For example, pap smears should begin at age 21 for women, diabetes screenings should begin in your 30s and yearly cholesterol screenings should take place around age 40.

Find a primary care provider who is right for you.

You can choose a provider who best fits your needs, and you can request a primary care provider who can care for your health and wellness in a way that works for you.

Prepare for your first appointment.

New patients can prepare by bringing in a list of their current medications, medical history and chronic conditions as well as previous medical records. Learn more about preparing for doctor's appointments.

Longer appointments do not always mean higher-quality care.

If you have a shorter appointment than normal, it generally means that your appointment went well. However, your primary care provider is always willing to spend time with you to address your needs and answer any questions you may have.

Telehealth visits allow you to see your doctor virtually.

Telehealth visits allow patients to see their provider from the comfort of their house. Learn more about Telehealth visits.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 5, 2020, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Start Your Healthcare Journey Today

Establish care with a Phelps Health primary care provider by calling (573) 364-9000 or making an appointment using MyChart.

Found in: Care Doctors Family Medicine Health Internal Medicine Services