However, the studies examine the quality of care in the domain of the specialists. Usually, PCPs can treat conditions in their own offices. They’re the ones that patients get to develop long-term relationships with. your child should go to the ER, learn insurance and, ideally, be close to home. or is admitted to a hospital, the PCP may oversee the care, help you make decisions Call the PCP if your child has: When in doubt, call the PCP. Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors, relatives, and doctors or nurses what you can about the PCP. A survey of 6,000 primary care doctors in seven countries revealed disparities in several areas that affect quality of care. ", "Growing gaps will exert even greater pressure on the outflow of health workers from poorer regions. Emergency physicians see many primary care cases, but in contrast to family physicians, pediatricians and internists, they are trained and organized to focus on episodic care, acute intervention, stabilization, and discharge or transfer or referral to definitive care, with less of a focus on chronic conditions and limited provision for continuing care. Physician group affiliation with networks of multiple groups. If your child needs ongoing treatment , In the United States, the number of medical students entering family practice training dropped by 50% between 1997 and 2005. Your health insurance plan may have a directory of preferred PCPs, and many practices A primary care physician (PCP) is considered your main doctor. are doctors, but nurse practitioners Once you have a list of candidates, learn Factors associated with quality of care by primary care physicians: The dissemination of information to generalists compared to specialists is complicated.  Similarly, a separate study found that specialists were less discriminating in their choice of journal reading. , Studies of the quality of preventive health care find the opposite results: primary care physicians perform best. Studies that compare the knowledge base and quality of care provided by generalists versus specialists usually find that the specialists are more knowledgeable and provide better care. providers, dieticians, lactation consultants, and social workers on the premises. And remember, although it's easier to find and stick with one An analysis of elderly patients found that patients seeing generalists, as compared to patients seeing specialists, were more likely to receive influenza vaccination. This is called preventive care. In the past, the equivalent term was general practitioner in the US; that is still the term in the United Kingdom (and in many other countries). your child should go to the ER. ", "There are currently 57 countries with critical shortages equivalent to a global deficit of 2.4 million doctors, nurses and midwives. , Developing countries face an even more critical disparity in primary care practitioners.  Discontent by practicing primary care internists is discouraging trainees from entering primary care; in a 2007 survey of 1,177 graduating US medical students, only 2% planned to enter a general internal medicine career, and lifestyle was emphasized over the higher subspecialty pay in their decision. In the past, the equivalent term was general practitioner in the US; however in the United Kingdom and other countries the term 'general practitioner' is still used. ", "In health systems, (primary care) workers function as gatekeepers and navigators for the effective, or wasteful, application of all other resources such as drugs, vaccines and supplies. A primary care physician is usually the first medical practitioner contacted by a patient because of factors such as ease of communication, accessible location, familiarity, and increasingly issues of cost and managed care requirements. ", "...all countries suffer from maldistribution characterized by urban concentration and rural deficits. Is a Gynecologist the Same as a Primary Care Doctor?  Two studies found specialists were more likely to adopt COX-2 drugs before the drugs were recalled by the FDA.  One of the studies went on to state "using COX-2s as a model for physician adoption of new therapeutic agents, specialists were more likely to use these new medications for patients likely to benefit but were also significantly more likely to use them for patients without a clear indication".  In 2004, the median income of specialists in the US was twice that of PCPs, and the gap is widening. and following the PCP's advice for establishing a healthy lifestyle, managing weight, For instance, you'll  In health promotion counseling, studies of self-reported behavior found that generalists were more likely than internal medicine specialists to counsel patients and to screen for breast cancer. services that allow them to get in touch with you if you leave a message. How Can I Get My Parents to Give Private Time With My Doctor? To find a PCP, start by asking yourself what matters to you. Some HMOs consider gynecologists as PCPs for the care of women and have allowed certain subspecialists to assume PCP responsibilities for selected patient types, such as allergists caring for people with asthma and nephrologists acting as PCPs for patients on kidney dialysis. cough, or rash, or is short of breath This is a problem in rural areas, which may forbid doctors from setting up new or competing practices in areas where physicians are scarce.. or nauseated, a PCP usually can find the cause and decide what to do about it. , Causes parallel the evolutionary changes occurring in the US medical system: payment based on quantity of services delivered, not quality; aging of the population increases the prevalence and complexity of chronic health conditions, most of which are handled in primary care settings; and increasing emphasis on life-style changes and preventative measures, often poorly covered by health insurance or not at all.