Family doctors provide care for children, adults, and seniors. Many people choose family doctors as their primary care physicians. Here are four times when you should see your family care doctor:
1. You have an illness that won't resolve on its own.
It's not uncommon for people to catch a cold during the winter. Many illnesses eventually run their course on their own. However, some infections must be treated with antibiotics before the body can heal. If you have an illness that won't go away, you should visit your family doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
2. You need a booster shot.
Most people are vaccinated as children. Childhood vaccines can protect people from a number of dangerous diseases, such as measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus. However, the immunity provided by many of these shots can wane over time. To keep yourself protected, you may need a booster shot. Your family doctor can let you know if you are due for any booster shots. If you are, your doctor or a nurse can quickly and easily administer the vaccines you need. Your family doctor can also give you your annual flu shot.
3. You're due for your annual physical.
You don't need to be sick to visit your family doctor's office. Adults and children should schedule an annual physical with their primary care physician. During this appointment, you can bring up any new changes to your health, including any symptoms that have been troubling you. Your doctor will measure your weight to ensure that you're staying healthy. They will also examine your ears, nose, and throat to check for signs of disease. Annual physicals can help you catch potential health problems as soon as possible, so they can be remedied.
4. You suspect that you may have a nutrient deficiency.
A simple physical exam can tell your doctor a lot about your health. However, blood tests can provide even more information about your overall well-being. Humans get most of their nutrients from the food they eat, although some nutrients, such as vitamin D, are synthesized in the body under certain conditions. It's important that you get the correct amount of nutrients in your diet. If you fear that you are deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, you can visit your family care doctor for a blood test. Your blood will be drawn and analyzed, and your doctor will discuss the results with you.