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  • West Sacramento

Do I Need a Primary Care Doctor?

why do you need a primary care doctor

We all need medical care at some point, and expert help is essential to staying healthy. A primary care provider or PCP is specialized in preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide variety of health conditions. A primary care physician may come from family practice or internal medicine, depending on your needs.

ER, Urgent Care, or Primary Care Physician?

Should I go to the Emergency Department, an Urgent Care Center, or see my primary care doctor? Choosing which healthcare provider to go to depends on your current situation.

  1. Emergency Department – An emergency is when a severe condition arises. These are often life-threatening situations and action should be taken quickly. Good examples are symptoms of stroke, heart attack, breathing problems, or severe allergic reactions. For emergencies, go to the Emergency Room or Emergency Department.
  2. Urgent Care – If your condition is not an emergency, and you feel like your ailment can’t wait until tomorrow, urgent care is the place to go. Urgent care centers commonly diagnose and treat sore throats, colds, ear infections, cuts, rashes, minor burns, and other non-life-threatening conditions.
  3. Primary Care Provider – See a primary healthcare provider for your non-emergent medical needs. A primary care doctor sees patients for common ailments such as infections, headaches, and back pain. They also manage chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, obesity, and depression. In addition, primary care doctors provide immunizations, check-ups, and screenings, and help with managing multiple treatments.

A Primary Healthcare Provider is:

primary care doctors know your medical history

A Doctor That Knows You

Tailored health care is easier when you have a meaningful relationship with your physician. If you see your primary care provider consistently for your annual check-ups, they will be able to build a more complete understanding of who you are and the intricacies of your health and wellness.

This understanding helps personalize your care and saves time since you don’t have to spend time explaining your entire medical history. Because your primary care doctor knows you, they can address the entire person, taking into account their values, beliefs, and preferences.

A Doctor That Can Help You Prevent Disease

Because they know you, your family doctor’s PCP can help you prevent disease through proactive health screenings and lifestyle changes. Routine screenings can find health issues before they become larger problems. It’s also important to note that because your primary care provider knows you, they will know the right questions to ask which can help to detect other health issues at early stages.

help with health goals

A Healthcare Navigator

If you need to enter the healthcare system, see a specialist, or undergo multiple treatments, your primary care provider can help you navigate through the complexities of the system and coordinate care. PCPs have expertise in managing multiple treatments, medications, and interactions between them. Having guidance and support when leaving a hospital, whether transitioning to a rehabilitation facility or going home, can make a big difference in how you heal long-term.


A Health Care Team

Great PCPs often work as a part of a healthcare team that includes registered nurses, medical assistants, nurses, nutritionists, medical access staff, and patient care associates. The team approach provides you with well-rounded care and guidance when pursuing your healthcare goals. For instance, when you have a chronic condition that can be improved through diet, exercise, and other healthy habits, your primary care provider team can help you to take small steps towards better health.

At River Bend Medical, our goal as your primary care provider is to deliver the care that’s right for you. Our progressive, sensitive, and culturally diverse health care team is committed to delivering compassionate primary healthcare and promoting the well-being of our patients, employees, and the communities we serve. When providing services to members of our local community, our goal is for our patients to feel secure in discussing any issue of medical concern with their River Bend practitioner. As part of your medical team, we are here to provide you with the best care in all aspects of your healthcare needs. For more information on our medical practice, or to make an appointment contact River Bend Medical Associates, or call 916-392-4000.


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