When to See Your Family Medicine Doctor

A female doctor holding a chart leans towards her patient during a routine appointment

Getting started with a family medicine doctor as your primary care physician can be a great choice for those looking to maintain long-term relationships with their doctor. You’ll likely have many questions about family medicine care, one of the most important ones being: When should I see my family medicine doctor?

Northern Nevada Medical Group is here to guide you through the process of seeing a family medicine doctor, including advice on when to schedule a visit with them, what to do before your visit to make the most out of it, and what to expect during the visit itself. By the end, you should feel empowered to navigate your healthcare journey with confidence.

What Does a Family Medicine Doctor Do?

Family medicine doctors are a type of primary care physician who provide personalized, comprehensive care to patients of all ages. They are uniquely positioned to address a wide spectrum of health concerns, as they get to know their patients throughout different stages of life.

A family medicine doctor is trained to treat most common ailments, provide preventative care and connect patients with specialists when needed. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses
  • Providing routine check-ups and health screenings
  • Managing overall patient care and well-being
  • Coordinating with other healthcare professionals to provide specialized treatment
  • Offering patient education on lifestyle and health choices
  • Delivering preventive care services
  • Medicare wellness exams
  • Well-woman exams
  • School and sports physicals
  • And more!

When to Schedule a Visit With Your Family Medicine Doctor

Family medicine doctors can help you with a wide variety of health issues. Some of the most common reasons people choose to visit their family medicine doctor include:

  • For Preventive Care: Your family medicine doctor will help you take proactive steps in staying on top of your health. For example, if your family has a history of heart problems, your doctor will take steps to monitor your cardiovascular health.
  • To Assess New Symptoms: If you’re experiencing symptoms that seem new, concerning or persistent over time, it may be time to see your family medicine doctor for a diagnosis. If they are unable to provide a diagnosis, they may instead refer you to a healthcare specialist who can.
  • For Chronic Disease Management: Family medicine doctors are commonly used to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, health disease, respiratory issues and more.
  • For Pediatric Care: Your family doctor is trained to provide care to children, enabling them to perform child health checks, immunizations and more.
  • For Geriatric Care: Vice versa, your family medicine doctor is also trained to provide care to older adults, treating age-related health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and more.
  • For Sexual and Reproductive Care: Your family medicine doctor can also provide sexual and reproductive care, from contraceptive advice to prenatal and postnatal care.

How to Plan Your Visit With Your Family Medicine Doctor

Now that you have a solid understanding of what services and treatment your family medicine doctor may provide, it’s important to know what to do to best plan your visit.

Although routine check-ups are typically recommended on a yearly basis, your family medicine doctor may suggest a different schedule based on your unique health needs. For more specific health concerns, it’s best to schedule an appointment as soon as the issue arises or as soon as you notice changes in your health.

To make the most out of your appointment, come prepared with the following information:

  • A list of current medications
  • Any new symptoms or concerns
  • Medical history

If you’re visiting your doctor with specific health concerns, it may also help to arrive with a list of questions to help you learn more about your health (as well as what steps you can take to see improvements).

What to Expect During Your Check-Up

Routine check-ups are a cornerstone of preventative healthcare. Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • Review of your medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Discussion about lifestyle habits
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Screening tests based on age, gender, and risk factors
  • Time for questions and concerns

Elevate Your Health

Taking the steps to learn more about what a family medicine doctor does is the first in taking control of your healthcare journey.

Remember to schedule regular check-ups, seek the advice of your doctors when health concerns arise, and maintain an ongoing dialogue with them to optimize your health outcomes. By understanding when to see a family medicine doctor and actively engaging in your healthcare, you can enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.

At Northern Nevada Medical Group, our family medicine doctors are here to help. Located in the Northern Nevada area, our doctors are dedicated to providing comprehensive patient care for patients of all ages.

Learn more about our family medicine doctors, including what conditions we treat as well as what treatment and services we provide.

Reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have by scheduling an appointment online or calling 775-352-5300.