A Guide To Primary Care For Older Adults By Julian Mitton, MD

You might be wondering why you need a primary care doctor, you could go see your doctor when you’re sick, right? Well yes and no. In this article, we’ll cover everything from what primary care is to how

Medicare covers it as well as some of the basics of how to find and choose a PCP for yourself or your loved one.

What Is Primary Care

Primary care is the first line of defense for all your health needs. It’s an essential part of our health care system, and it’s where most older adults receive their care.

Primary care physicians like Julian Mitton, MD also known as family doctors, general practitioners, internists and geriatricians are trained to handle a wide range of health issues.

Which include chronic disease like diabetes or high blood pressure; acute conditions such as pneumonia; injuries from falls; preventive screenings; mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders; and even end-of-life issues if necessary.

Why Do I Need To See My Primary Care Physician

  • Primary care physicians like Julian Mitton, MD are the cornerstone of your health care team, they can help you manage chronic conditions, acute illnesses and injuries, medications, preventive care and much more
  • Diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses like colds or flus that may come up during the winter months
  • Treatment for minor injuries such as sprains or strains from falling on ice or snowshoeing accidents
  • Management of chronic conditions like diabetes which requires regular monitoring by both you and your doctor

Should I See My PCP When I’m Sick

Most people will experience a cold or the flu at some point in their lives and these common illnesses are not life-threatening and can be treated at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications.

If you have a serious illness such as pneumonia or bronchitis that requires antibiotics, it’s best to go see your PCP because they will know what tests need to be done before prescribing medication.

If you are suffering from a minor injury such as an ankle sprain or broken wrist, then an urgent care center may be better suited for treatment than going straight to your PCP’s office where there may be long wait times due to short staffing issues. This is especially true during peak times like winter flu season.

Urgent care centers tend not only treat more severe injuries but also offer same day appointments which means less waiting around until another day comes along when there isn’t so much demand on their services.

It Is Necessary For All, No Matter Their Age

Primary care doctors provide the first line of defense against illness and are able to help you manage your health over the long term.

They can also provide a broad range of services, including preventive screenings and vaccinations; diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses; management of chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure; dental care; mental health counseling; physical therapy referrals when needed even assistance with home safety issues such as installing grab bars or stair lifts in order to prevent falls.

Primary care doctors have access to all types of specialists who work at the same practice or hospital system as them.

So if you need additional specialized treatment such as surgery, they’ll be able to refer you directly instead of having to wait weeks just for an appointment with another specialist who might not even take your insurance anyway.


Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.