The Importance of a Primary Care Physician
By Dr. Linda Pouzar
Clear Lake Family Physicians
1045 Gemini Street, Houston TX 77058

 

1. Why is it important to have a primary care physician?

During medical school clinical training, my husband, Dr. Joe Pouzar and I remember telling our four middle-aged parents to choose a personal primary care physician. None of them were sick often, they were baffled and immediately asked, “why?” We explained that primary care physicians are the broadest trained and first line of medical defense. A reliable primary care physician will make an effort, early on, to discover and record the health history and risk profile of each patient. Because of the range of training, a primary care physician is the “go to” for most health problems and solves 80-90% from start to finish. Most of all, it helps to have continuity of care in a medical record. As visits occur for various needs, the “snowballing” of the patient’s medical history, allergic reactions, medication responses, etc., grow, too. Seeing the same doctor most of the time keeps the patient from having to start over and explain repeatedly, and reduces frustration. This is especially important for the elderly, or those with chronic complex diseases.

2. Why should you choose to go to a doctor’s office over an urgent care?

If the patient selects walk-in or urgent care, the motivation is usually to deal with the immediate occurrence, but not to be responsible for future care. Fragmentation of the medical record makes taking care of a patient more difficult. Vaccination records, adverse medication reactions, and failure to recognize chronic recurrent problems would be examples of the loss of continuity. Sometimes, complex diagnoses unfold across time and multiple visits. Primary care is situated to be able to recognize these changes. Should a patient require the expertise of a specialist, primary care is the best positioned to facilitate that consult, knowing the patient’s personality and history and also knowing the capabilities of other physicians in the community.

3. What is a coordinated care network?

A coordinated care network is a team approach to healthcare. We have teamed up with Bay Area
Regional Medical Center, Texas Gulf Coast Medical Center Specialists, and other specialist in the area to be sure our patients have access to some of the best health care in the Houston Bay Area. We are able to refer our patients to specialists, and Bay
Area Regional Medical Center, in a seamless and quick process that is easy for the patient.

4. Does it matter what hospital I choose?

If the patient requires emergency care or hospitalization, they should go to the primary care doctor’s preferred hospital and identify themselves as that doctor’s patient. Our group of physicians has a hospitalist team that we have worked with
for over ten years. They are a multi board-certified team of physicians at Bay Area Regional, who see our patients and have access to the same records that we do. Certainly, there is a medical advantage to being an established patient with a known history for speed and accuracy of care. Not having a primary care physician is taking a “potluck” approach and choosing a stranger to manage important personal decisions at a serious time. Best for all concerned is a long-term doctor/patient relationship, punctuated by regular health checkups to anticipate and manage problems.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment call 281.486.7900. txgulfcoastmed.com

 

About Texas Gulf Coast Medical Systems

All physicians at Texas Gulf Coast Medical Systems (TGC)are on staff at Bay Area Regional Medical Center, the area’s newest and most modern facility and is a TGC affiliate. TGC provides ongoing, comprehensive care, with specialties in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, Endocrinology, Podiatry, Dermatology, Sleep Medicine, Sports Medicine and Mental Health. TGC offers convenient, same-day appointments, extended and Saturday hours, and has six area locations.

About Clear Lake Family Physicians – a Texas Gulf Coast Medical Systems Practice
Clear Lake Family Physicians has been in the area for over 30 years. The physicians that make up the group are Dr. Joe and Linda Pouzar, Dr. Thriveni Vellore, along with three physician assistants, Shalla Proctor, PA-C, Hannah Waggett, PA-C and Terrie Williams, PA-C. The practice is accepting new patients, has same-day appointments and offers Saturday appointments.

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