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Glossary > Primary Care

Primary Care

What is Primary Care?

Primary care is the care you receive through regular visits with your primary care physician. This is the basic health care you will receive annually instead of with a specialist. This is the first step in getting the health care you deserve. This may also be the first step in making contact with a specialist if needed.

Who Administers Primary Care?

While you're in charge of scheduling your check-ups and doctor visits, and your health insurance company usually picks up the tab, your primary care physician is the one who administers your primary care. Primary care physicians, also known as PCP's, is your first line of defense when it comes to your health. 

Importance of Primary Health Care

Establishing primary health care or a primary care physician is essential in your overall well being. Since they are your first point of contact for your health. They have the ability to diagnose, treat or refer you to a specialist if needed. It's important to maintain an honest and trustworthy relationship with your primary doctor. If you get sick this is the first stop on your road to recovery. The importance of having a primary doctor cannot be stressed enough. Without one, possible symptoms of the certain disease may be missed or ignored. Not receiving proper health care can be the difference between life and death.

What Services Are Included In Primary Care?

A primary care physician provides your basic necessities for medical care. Some of the primary care services include annual check-ups, health screenings, vaccinations, diagnostics, prescriptions, treatment, and referrals. Primary care services are essential to living a healthy lifestyle. The services you will receive from your primary doctor are very beneficial to your health care. With the use of these primary care services, conditions and disease can be caught early enough to be treated.

Example Of Primary Care

An example of what your primary health care doctor would be able to do is if you started showing signs of possible strep throat. Maybe you have a fever, chills, your throat is swollen, hurts and contains red or white spots. A visit to your primary care physician will allow for testing and diagnoses of your condition. Another example would be if you injured a limb like an arm or leg. This level of care can provide treatment for sprains and strains. Many other services are available if you have other ailments. They are there for your basic medical needs.

Primary Care vs. Secondary Care

The difference between primary and secondary healthcare is simple. Primary care is the basic health care your body may need. Primary health care is the first step in establishing health care. Secondary care is the health care and services a specialist can provide. Secondary health care could be services an OBGYN, Dermatologist, Orthopedic surgeon may provide. For example, your primary doctor may refer you to a dermatologist if you need further treatment with a skin disorder. Or maybe you have injured your back and they don't offer the level of care an Orthopedic specialist can. A specialist has advanced medical care and training within their specific field of practice.