By Emily King

We’ve all been there. Cold and flu season hit, and suddenly you’re practically living at your doctor’s office, the pediatrician’s office and urgent care clinics. You are coordinating appointments and prescriptions for everyone, not to mention rearranging your own schedule for sick days.

For many families, switching to a family medicine provider might be an option that they hadn’t considered. Visiting a doctor that can treat all members of the family could make arranging sick and well visits much more convenient. Family medicine can also provide a continuity of care that is not possible when everyone is seeing different doctors.

Not everyone is aware of the breadth of services that a family medicine practice offers. They provide more than just your annual checkup. A family medicine physician can help monitor chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and asthma. Offices like WHS Family Medicine Waynesburg offer online appointments, and most of the time, they have openings the same day or next day for urgent issues like flu, urinary tract infections and sprained ankles. They can even perform many smaller outpatient procedures.

A family medicine provider is qualified to treat all members of the family, from your newborn baby to your aging parents. Because of their medical school training in all stages of human life, they can provide the same excellent level of care as your doctor as well as your children’s pediatrician. If the need arises, your family medicine physician can refer you to a specialist, like a neurologist or a surgeon.

Seeing the same provider as your kids and even elderly parents can save you the time you would spend shuffling from office to office, arranging time off work and school. Many practices can schedule back to back visits for members of the family. All of your family’s medical records are kept in one place, making it easier for the doctor to look into family medical history and see patterns in conditions and illnesses.

Most pediatricians stop seeing patients between the ages of 18 and 21, which means that young adults have to go through the process of finding a new physician. Some young people may be resistant to this, forgoing well checkups, and even sick visits. Those who have been seeing a family medicine physician can continue the relationship with the doctor they have come to trust since childhood. Young adults may be more willing to discuss sensitive issues like behavioral health to a doctor they already trust.

A family medicine physician can provide more personalized care for your family.

By seeing the same physician for most of your family’s care, it is easier to form a trusting relationship with your provider.

This benefit extends to the doctor as well, as they become more familiar with your family’s health conditions and history. It can be comforting to know that once you have found a physician that you really love, you can trust them to care for the entire family.

If you would like to make an appointment with a provider at WHS Family Medicine Waynesburg, call (724) 627-8080 or make an appointment online at whs.org/fmwaynesburg.

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