People often think that the primary care physician is a basic doctor in with general diagnosis and treatment of common diseases. However, there are many other things that these physicians are involved in like taking patient case histories to understand their health problems, managing chronic conditions, developing long-term care plans for patients and helping provide education for patients about preventable diseases.
The Role of the primary care physician.
The role of a primary care physician in Detroit, MI is to provide continuous, comprehensive, cost-effective health care for patients and families. According to their scope of practice determined by their state board and specialty training, PCPs are responsible for providing medical diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plan and medical orders as well as referrals to specialists when needed. They also serve in an advocate role for patients with insurance companies in order to maintain coverage or provide necessary financial assistance for uncovered treatments or conditions.
Primary care physicians are often affiliated with hospitals and clinics with varying specialties depending on the focus of the clinic. They often have working relationships with specialists in their field for second opinions and in referrals for more complex conditions.
Primary care physicians may serve as a patient’s first source of information about new medications, immunizations and screenings when these tasks are part of the usual course of treatment. They also provide education to patients on topics such as diet, exercise, safety, prevention and quitting smoking.
Education and training.
A primary care physician receives training in four areas: medical, surgical, obstetric and gynecologic and pediatrics. In order to practice within their scope of practice determined by their state board, a physician will have to achieve the following:
Medical training consists of four years of undergraduate school followed by four years of medical school. Some medical schools offer options for one year of postgraduate training in internal medicine before entering a residency for family practice or another specialty. Before entering a residency program, interns must complete one year of transitional work experience that includes some clinical responsibilities under supervision. Furthermore, it is important for students to go through required courses in medical ethics and professional responsibility.
Obstetrics and gynecology training consists of one year of training before the student can apply for a residency program. After completing the required coursework for their specialty, interns must complete at least two years of residency training. Interested applicants should consider the AOA Value Based Residency Training Initiative (VBRTI) which highlights program mission, values and outcomes as well as Letters of Reference which are a vital part of any application process.
Pediatrics training consists of four years in undergraduate school followed by four years of medical school. Usually, three years are spent in residency followed by a one-year internship after graduation.