When you think of ways that doctors save lives, many might imagine an emergency room doctor or nurse running around treating patients who might be having a heart attack, or a surgeon who is performing a life-saving surgery for someone who was in a deadly accident. Even though these are the images that typically come to mind, physicians that take a preventative approach play just as impactful a role in saving lives everyday.
Although preventative care save lives in a different way than rescue medicine does, it does similarly help patients live longer, healthier and fuller lives in the long-run.
When independent physicians practice preventative, patient-focused care they enable themselves to save their patients’ lives by helping them monitor their health, chronic conditions and make them more comfortable with reaching out for help when more serious symptoms arise.
Preventative medicine focuses on a patient’s care and health over time and on solving health issues in the long run compared to fixing the problem instantaneously. These physicians are incrementalists, if you go to a primary care physician with chronic migraines that you have had for decades they will not prescribe you a medication and send you on your way. Most chronic illnesses do not have cures, but that does not mean that they are not treatable.
Physicians practicing preventative medicine will slowly help you keep track of your progress and test out different combinations of medications or techniques that can lessen the effects of your chronic illness and it might take years to find a combination that is right for you, but your physician will never give up on you.
A large part of why primary care and preventive medicine is successful is the doctor-patient relationship. When patients have a regular physician that they see that knows their health and medical history, patients are more at ease and more willing to seek medical attention or advice in the future, before it’s too late.
Primary care has one of the greatest overall impacts of the medical professions. Patients that regularly see a primary care physician have lower mortality rates, better overall health and lower medical costs. Preventive medicine is not meant to give instant solutions to health issues because sometimes there aren’t any; instead, patients could benefit from a guide to staying healthy for the rest of one’s life and advice on how to cope with health issues – if any.