There are many reasons why people would want to become primary care physicians. Many of the practicing physicians at American Family Care specialist admit to their love for helping others.

Being a primary care physician is a rewarding career with varied experiences. The career path comes with a mix and match of different things that make it challenging. It also comes with a strong sense of team spirit, as physicians often have to rely on the professional judgment of others in some cases.

Becoming a primary care physician isn’t a simple path. However, we will help you to understand the core areas of this career path in the following sections.

What is a primary care physician?

A primary care physician is a trained medical doctor who uses their knowledge, training, and experience to prevent, diagnose, and treat health problems. Health problems, in this regard, include illnesses, injuries, disease states, etc.

Primary care physicians have a duty to their patients; to ensure that they get the best possible health advice and treatment. This means advising patients on lifestyle choices that could be complicating their health. It also involves treating acute and chronic problems with debilitating health effects.

What training and qualifications do primary care physicians have?

Training and qualifications are important in all areas of health and wellness. A person must seek a trained and experienced primary care physician for their health and wellness needs.

For primary care physicians, the journey to becoming a professional isn’t a particularly smooth one. They require a lot of time, dedication, and conviction. Becoming a primary care physician involves many years of training and education, beginning with a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Prospective primary care doctors will also need to enroll in a medical school which can take an additional four years to complete. At the end of medical school, they become a Medical professional with a degree. But that’s not all.

Residency is an important step to becoming a fully licensed practitioner. During residency, the medical doctor narrows down into a medical specialty and studies for an additional three to seven years, depending on the field they’ve opted for. This is also the field in which they’ll practice.

Some primary care physicians may stop after residency, while others may proceed to complete a fellowship. Fellowships are aimed at further narrowing down the professional’s specialty area. It can last between one to three years, depending on the complexities of the field.

Primary care providers’ major fields are family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, and geriatrics. Some doctors go on to become board certified. Becoming a board-certified doctor can take a couple of years working in an approved medical facility. It also requires a series of rigorous examinations aimed at sorting the very best medical doctors in specific fields.

What are the roles of a primary care physician?

Primary care physicians do a lot for the long years of education and training they passed through. They are often found in private or group practices, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, and inpatient and outpatient hospitals.

They focus on addressing health problems and concerns. Their primary goal is to help healthy individuals maintain health and wellness while preventing illnesses and diseases. They also help diseased individuals manage or treat their conditions while restoring them to a healthy state.

Some of the comprehensive services primary care physicians provide include;

Wellness and prevention screenings: This can include blood pressure checks, check for heart diseases and risk factors, cholesterol checks, diabetes checks, check and diagnosis of developmental disorders, check for cancer in the break, cervical area, prostate, and colorectal area, immunization, etc.

Primary care physicians can also detect and diagnose mental health conditions like depression. They can also be seen for sexual problems like STDs, STIs, erectile dysfunction, etc.

Acute illness and injury care: Primary care physicians take care of ill and injured patients. They diagnose disease states and develop a treatment schedule, prescribe appropriate medications, check for infections and drug interactions, look for injuries, refer patients to specialists for care, etc.

Treat and manage chronic conditions: Primary care physicians also treat and manage chronic conditions to help patients live better lives. They often coordinate with other specialists to manage patient health, prescribe medications to manage the patient’s condition and effect lifestyle changes, help with diet and food selection to improve health and wellness, monitor drug interactions to avoid health complications arising from multiple conditions and counteractive medications, etc.

The role of a primary care physician is extensive in the management and improvement of patient health. Becoming one requires strong dedication and commitment.