The role of the primary care physician (PCP) has always been to be the first line of defense when it comes to healthcare. Most patients will first seek medical advice from their PCP when experiencing an illness of any kind.
However, during the pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), the role of the PCP changed. Let’s talk about some of these changes in the primary care physician’s role, and where to go in North Bethesda, Maryland, for outstanding primary care.
Why Do You See a Primary Care Physician?
Your primary care physician plays a key role in your health. The PCP coordinates all of the healthcare you receive, including overseeing and collecting information from all the medical specialists you see. This is the doctor who will periodically perform a checkup to evaluate how you are doing, and will make sure that there are no conflicts in the care you are receiving – such as if any of your medications have contraindications with each other, which could render them useless or even harmful.
By seeing your PCP instead of receiving treatment in an emergency room for important but nonemergency health issues, this doctor helps to reduce healthcare costs. This also alleviates the stress on the hospital system, allowing hospitals to focus on the more acutely ill or injured.
Changes in the Primary Care Physician’s Role During COVID-19
As the pandemic spread, most hospitals and PCPs were forced to change how business was handled. PCPs weren’t prepared for the influx of patients, including not having the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for themselves and their medical staff.
That is why the use of telemedicine (visits via video contact instead of in-person contact) exploded. Whereas only 11% of physicians were using telemedicine before COVID-19, more than 75% use telemedicine today in some form as part of their practice. Telemedicine has been vital for PCPs to see their patients without exposing themselves, their staff, and the patients to COVID-19.
PCPs have also had to stay up-to-date on all of the latest procedures, such as social distancing, wearing masks, and knowing the symptoms of COVID-19. As the hospitals became overwhelmed by the large numbers of patients with severe symptoms of the novel coronavirus, patients with minor symptoms were often relegated to the PCP’s care to make room for others in the hospital. PCPs had to deal with this influx of patients daily.
Your primary care physician has also been instrumental in teaching patients about the COVID-19 vaccine. Patients generally trust their PCP’s advice more than that provided by governmental agencies.
Primary Care Services in North Bethesda, Maryland
Here at North Bethesda Primary Care, our own Dr. Adam Possner is a primary care physician who implements the best practices during COVID-19 and beyond. Dr. Possner is a concierge physician, also often called a VIP physician, who gives personalized treatment and attention to his patients. He is also available for telehealth visits for your comfort and convenience.
Dr. Possner is available to his patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After-hours emergencies are addressed with a call to his phone.
Get the personal touch of a concierge PCP with Dr. Possner at North Bethesda Primary Care. Call us now to schedule your free consultation at (301) 941-4414 or fill out our consultation form. We look forward to seeing you!