Have you Established a Primary Care Provider?

September is here and you know what that means...fall is right around the corner. School is in full swing and with the changing weather, you are bound to eventually get sick. Even if you don't get sick, it is important to have someone there for you when you do. So let's talk about primary care providers!

What is a primary care provider?

A primary care provider (or PCP) is a healthcare professional who helps you manage your day-to-day health needs. PCPs are usually doctors, however, some nurses and physician assistants also provide primary care.  Typically if you are in good health, you will rarely need medications or the care of a specialist. At some point, you will feel under the weather, and when you do it makes sense to have a PCP that you trust to take care of you. Your PCP will act as your first point of contact when a health issue arises. Finding a PCP that is right for you may take time but it can improve your well-being in the long run.

How can a primary care provider help me?

A PCP can answer questions about chronic conditions, infections, or medicines. They provide preventive care, teach you about healthy choices, identify and treat common medical conditions, and help connect you to specialized care if you need it. Typically, once a patient finds a primary care provider they connect with, they stay with that physician for decades! A long-term relationship with a primary care provider allows them to really to get to know you, your family history, and establish a system to routinely manage your health. 

A PCP will:

  • Teach you ways to make better decisions about your health to prevent disease.
  • Make sure your vaccines are up to date to prevent diseases like the flu
  • Suggest screening tests to detect problems before they even arise
  • Treat health problems that pop up, like infections or rashes
  • Help you manage long-term health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and anxiety
  • Find a medical specialist like a knee surgeon or heart doctor

How does one find a primary care provider?

The SMH Physicians Network and Ochsner Health provide a network of primary care providers and nurse practitioners that can provide a lifetime of primary care for your whole family. We make it our mission to develop long-term, caring relationships with our patients and their families. Our six locations in Slidell make it convenient for you to get the right care, when you need it.