Why see a GP? And why should you have a regular family GP?

So what do GPs do exactly? – Well, here in Australia, a GP:

  • Will most likely be the first point of contact for your health if you are sick or need advice
  • Coordinates your care and may refer you for tests or to specialists or allied health professionals
  • Cares for you in a ‘whole person’ approach  – in relation to work, family and community
  • Cares for patients of all ages from children and adults across all disease categories
  • Cares for you over many years – a significant part of your lifetime
  • Is able to provide care for your whole family and extended family
  • Provides advice and education on your health care
  • Certifies legal documents and  provides reports in relation to transport or work accidents

What helps to make a good relationship between you and your family GP?

  • Being able to trust your doctor, to communicate well with them, to feel listened to and understood, and that you can understand them because they explain things to you.
  • Knowing that your doctor will involve you in decisions about your health.
  • Being familiar with how the practice works – knowing the reception staff, hours of opening, access to a doctor after-hours, how to make an appointment, how to pay, what sort of follow-up for tests there is and so on.
  • Building a good, long-term, doctor-patient relationship takes time – but is worth the effort!

GPs don’t just treat illness – we like to prevent it.  Don’t wait until you’re actually Sick!

  • We can give you advice on things like diet, exercise, healthy living and disease prevention.
  • We can do check-ups – look for early warning signs, hopefully give you a clean bill of health!
  • We can assess risks and signs of heart disease, diabetes and cancer – simple things like checking your blood pressure, blood sugar, and skin checks – and much more
  • We can get to know your family history to better target your own particular health risks

The doctors and staff at SPFM recommend having a regular GP who knows you

  • Seeing the same doctor, or at least the same one or two doctors in the same practice, has actually been shown, in scientific studies, to improve your health. It’s not good for your health in the long run to have different GPs for different problems.
  • Seeing someone who knows you saves you time and effort – rather than going over the same story again and again. Choosing one practice give a GP the chance to get to know you..
  • a GP who knows you and your background – previous illnesses, life circumstances, work, interests, family history, what medications and operations you have had – is much better able to understand the problem, make the right diagnosis and start the right treatment.
  • A doctor who is familiar with you is going to better recognize when something is wrong. And since you are more likely to have already built up a degree of trust, you will feel more comfortable to share what is important to you and things you may find it difficult to talk about.
  • Prevention is always better than cure – we give our cars regular check-ups for all the right reasons – to prevent serious problems when we are driving on the road. Our GPs want to help you spot problems well before they are serious – and help you to do something about them. We can easily check your BP, weight, etc, and order those….yes…those blood tests.
  • If you are suddenly seriously ill, the GP who knows you and our medical history well can much more quickly get you the help that you need. It may be hard to find a good GP who is available when you need one in a hurry.
  • Some people think it’s OK to pop into the local 24 hour bulk-billing clinic for the “simple” stuff and use your regular GP for the “real” stuff. We GPs know that often what people may think is its simple isn’t necessarily. A GP who knows you is much more likely to pick up on more subtle clues that might indicate a more serious problem, or take the opportunity to do a checkup.

Why not make an appointment with one of our doctors at SPFM now? 

 

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