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Protecting Your Health From Head to Toe: Why You Need a Primary Care Clinic

Protecting Your Health From Head to Toe - AboutBoulder.com

You have a unique personality and this extends to your health and wellness needs. Your health needs are different from everyone else and this means you need a healthcare advisor who’s familiar with your concerns, medical history, and health goals.

Whether these goals are to lose weight, lower blood pressure, or simply stay healthy, a primary care clinic can provide this and more. If you’re not sure what primary care entails or if you even need it, we’ll take a look at this and more.

What is a Primary Care Clinic

Yes, you can always turn to the ER when a health emergency pops up. This is actually encouraged, it’s what ERs are designed to handle. However, emergency rooms aren’t designed to provide preventive treatment. ER physicians also don’t have time to perform standard physical exams.

Just like the name implies, ERs only treat sudden and typically severe health emergencies. The best way to think of an ER is it’s only when your medical issue is serious enough you can’t wait until your primary care physician can see you.

So, what is a primary care clinic? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines primary care as accessible, affordable, continuous prevention and treatment of common illnesses. Physicians at primary clinics develop a partnership with their patients. This partnership helps ensure the patient is present throughout the process, including making decisions about any treatments that may be required.

The Council on Graduate Medical Education finds people who rely on primary care clinics for their health and wellness needs over ERs are typically healthier and spend less time in waiting rooms. Primary care clinics are also more affordable, especially compared to the cost of going to an emergency room. In a nutshell, you get improved access to healthcare at a noticeably lower cost.

Services Provided at a Primary Care Clinic

Your physician at a primary care clinic can provide a variety of healthcare services based on your unique needs. You’re then assigned a primary care physician at the clinic.

Instead of seeing someone different every time you go in you get the same doctor, which helps ensure your physician is familiar with your health history, your current needs, and future goals. You don’t need to repeat the same information every time you make an appointment. Sometimes, this can be enough to help ease any concerns about the care you’re receiving.

The list of services a primary care clinic can provide is extensive. Along with cancer and diabetes screenings, the clinic can also:

  • Screen your cardiovascular health
  • Perform minor surgeries like suturing cuts and other wounds
  • Cast, splint, and brace bone breaks and fractures
  • Care for wounds
  • Prescribe medications


The clinic also offers birth control services and prenatal care like ultrasounds. If you want to learn more about how to improve your overall well-being, most primary care clinics also offer health counseling.

Choose the Right Primary Care Physician for Your Health Needs

Primary care clinics are not only made up of general practitioners. You can also find family physicians who can treat everyone from children and adults to elderly patients.

Family physicians can provide a wide range of services including immunizations, diagnoses, and even perform some minor surgeries. Other types of primary care physicians include:

  • Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYN): Specializing in women’s reproductive health. They handle pregnancies, childbirths, postpartum, and menopause.
  • Pediatricians: These primary care physicians focus on meeting the healthcare needs of infants and children, typically up to the age of 21. From there, the patient transfers to a general or family practitioner.
  • Internists: Focusing on internal medicine, most internists only treat adults. Children under 21 years of age are typically under the care of a pediatrician.
  • Geriatricians: Specializing in meeting the healthcare needs of older adults, geriatricians often diagnose and treat age-related medical conditions. A family physician may refer an older patient to a geriatrician if a medical condition is suspected for further diagnosis and treatment.
  • Nurse practitioners: A nurse practitioner can work with your primary care physician or independently. They can help patients create and understand their care plans. Nurse practitioners are also trained to assist with diagnosis and treatment.


Most primary care clinics also employ physician assistants, and unlike nurse practitioners, physician assistants can’t work independently. Their job is to assist the physician but they can help with diagnosis and treatment in patients of all ages.

Protect Your Health and Wellbeing at a Primary Care Clinic

Your health and wellbeing is crucial, especially if you’re planning on living a long and active life. If you’re searching for affordable healthcare, a primary care clinic is usually your best option. You can receive complete healthcare from your head to your toes.

If you need to see a specialist, chances are, you’re only going to need to walk down the clinic’s halls. You can get complete healthcare in one convenient place.

John Mali Director of Media Relations

Director of Media Relations at AboutBoulder.com


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