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Why You Need a Primary Care Physician

Your Primary Care Physician: The Go-To Person for Good Health and Excellent Medical Care

Choosing a primary care physician and maintaining the relationship with regular visits is an important step you can take to protect your health, at any age. When you get ill or injured, your primary care doctor is the person in charge of seeing that you get the medical care you need and he/she is also focused on keeping you well and healthy so that you can live life the way you want to.

For information on how to choose a primary care physician, click here.

Why Choose a Primary Care Doctor from Torrance Memorial Physician Network?

At the Torrance Memorial Physician Network, we consider ourselves your partner in maintaining a high quality of life through your aging years. Our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors are dedicated to helping you stay as healthy as possible. Getting to know you, your values and priorities while you are healthy equips us to provide excellent care when you are ill or injured.

We have convenient, accessible offices and hours. With our state-of-the-art electronic medical record technology, our doctors and staff can easily access your medical history and keep your specialists current on your treatments and medications. We always have your best interests in mind.

What Do Primary Care Doctors Do?

Your primary care doctor's responsibilities are divided into three areas:

  • Preventive care to help you stay healthy: Your primary care physician offers advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle and makes sure you get screenings and immunizations when you need them.
  • Treating illnesses and injuries: Primary care doctors diagnose and treat common medical conditions, assess the severity of medical problems, refer patients to specialists when necessary, treat illnesses and help you manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Coordinating all your medical care: Medical care can get complicated, particularly as you age and if you have one or more chronic medical conditions. Your primary care doctor keeps track of your health, including treatments and medications, makes sure you see the right doctors at the right times and communicates with them about what's going on with your health, and serves as the point person to make sure that your medical treatments and medications won't interact dangerously with one another.

What Are The Benefits of Having a Primary Care Doctor?

Today's health care environment is complex. As your go-to health care provider, your primary care physician protects you and represents your interests in a variety of ways, including:

  • Overseeing your care. In his/her role as coordinator of your care, your primary care doctor keeps all doctors informed of your health status and treatments so you don't undergo unnecessary tests or procedures or have treatments you don't want or don't need.
  • Lower medical costs. Keeping an up-to-date medical record of all your care, tests and treatments, your primary care physician ensures that you aren't paying for care you don't need.
  • Keeping you healthy, particularly as you age. Your primary care doctor monitors health changes and, seeing you year after year, may detect changes or signs of developing disease at the earliest, most treatable stages. Advising you on necessary health screenings is another important service your primary care physician can provide.

When Do You Need A Primary Care Doctor?

Even when you are in good health it is important to have a good relationship with your primary care physician. He/she will keep you healthy with physical examinations, immunizations and health education information. Your primary care doctor will let you know whether or not you need to get a flu shot and whether you need certain tests, such as heart screenings and cancer screenings.

When you get injured or are feeling unwell, your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat your problem. An important advantage of having a primary care doctor is that you will always know that your care is being directed by a doctor who knows and understands all of your medical needs. He/she should be your first stop for all your medical concerns, including undiagnosed, non-emergencies, such as:

  • Colds vs. Flu. If you have a sore throat or chest cold symptoms, your primary care doctor will help determine whether you are suffering a common cold, a virus or the flu.
  • Infections. Primary care doctors can diagnose and treat ear infections, eye infections and other common complaints.
  • Stomach upset. Your primary care doctor can help determine whether your digestive upset is caused by a stomach flu, a food-borne illness, or may be something more serious or complicated that requires a visit to a specialist.
  • Injuries. If you fall or are injured during your normal activities or even while playing sports, your primary care physician can assess your condition and determine whether you need an x-ray or to see an orthopedic specialist.
  • Chronic disease management. Your primary care doctor will also help you manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
  • Care Coordination. If you need to see a medical specialist, your primary care doctor coordinates and manages your care, making sure that treatments you receive are appropriate for you, that the drugs you are prescribed work well together, and that all the doctors who care for you know about other medical problems you may be having.