There are several benefits of having a family physician or certified nurse practitioner for you and your family. Understanding the benefits can also help you choose the provider who will best meet your healthcare needs.
For many patients, one benefit is peace of mind—establishing an ongoing healthcare relationship with a primary physician becomes a trusted source for their family’s healthcare. This relationship is also beneficial for providers.
“Having a connection with a family physician helps us to provide a more complete level of care,” said Dr. David Polzin, family medicine physician at Glacial Ridge. “We are able to understand your medical history over time, keep vaccination records current, monitor how you respond to medications, or even concerns you may have about treatments. We can combine your healthcare needs with your family’s lifestyle into the bigger picture of living healthier lives.”
Another benefit is that family physicians and providers offer healthcare for a full range of patients—from infants to children, teens, adults, and elders. They may specialize in areas such as sports medicine, allergies, pediatrics, women’s health needs, and more, but they are qualified to provide comprehensive care for all ages. This also means they are trained to communicate with patients of all ages in ways they can understand.
Communication plays a large role in medical care. Internal medicine physicians are especially knowledgeable in providing primary medical care to adults for routine ailments or regular check-ups, as well as managing and communicating the more complex and/or multiple medical conditions of adult healthcare.
Having a primary physician or nurse practitioner is also beneficial for a pediatric patient—the provider has become familiar with the child’s developmental milestones as he/she grows, as well as your past concerns as a parent or caregiver. Establishing a connection with a primary care provider over the years is especially important if children are more introverted or scared of going to the doctor.
A primary physician becomes your guide to navigating the sometimes-complex medical system of specialists and referrals. If your provider refers you to a specialist or to therapy, your provider and nursing staff will answer your questions, coordinate the referral, and manage the communication with the specialist. You are notified when your appointment is set up—along with anything you need to know to prepare for it—so you can receive optimal, timely care.
“Our commitment to providing heartfelt care to our communities is something we all understand and live out every day,” said Dr. Robert Montenegro, family medicine physician at Glacial Ridge. “It’s about service to the patients, which allows me, as a doctor, to put patients first. We live and work in our communities—as family physicians and providers, we care deeply that our residents receive the highest quality of care.”
When location is important, appointments can be scheduled online or by phone. Our three, state-of-the-art healthcare clinics—Glenwood Medical Center, Brooten Medical Center, and Starbuck Medical Center—make it easier to choose an appointment with your provider that is convenient for your needs and location.