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Patients Benefit from Selecting One Primary Care Physician for the Entire Family

Local Doctor Shares Tips on How to Choose a Family Physician

DAYTON, Ohio (Aug. 8, 2012) – Selecting a family physician can be one of the most important decisions that a parent can make for the well-being and good health of themselves and their children.  As the school year approaches, many families are heading to the doctor for back-to-school physicals and immunizations, which is an appropriate time to consider the many benefits of seeing a primary care physician.

Christopher Lauricella, MD of Family Medicine of Vandalia, part of Premier HealthNet shares that seeing one doctor for the whole family can be convenient and give a physician more insight to a family’s overall health.  “We get a lot of folks who appreciate just coming to one stop,” he shares.  “As a practitioner its nice too, you get to know the family and it gives us insight that we may not have by seeing a single patient.  For example, weight management is not a personal issue; it’s a family issue, so we can treat a family as a group.”

Consider these three things when selecting a primary care physician:

  • Conduct research and review all of the possible options
  • Ask trusted friends and family members about their primary care physicians
  • View practice websites and videos to learn more about the office and the physicians

Choosing the right doctor early on is important, especially because for many, the relationship is going to be one that lasts a lifetime. Trust should be a major factor in any patient’s decision. “You know that you have the right doctor when you feel comfortable enough to tell him things that you wouldn’t tell anyone else,” says Dr. Lauricella.  “Not only are you sharing your height and weight and other personal health information, but I’ve seen patients through divorces, disappointments and serious illnesses, which are all personal matters that should be handled by a physician you trust.”

As a family weighs the decision of choosing the right physician, it’s important to consider the benefits for children.  A physician who sees mom, dad and possibly even grandma and grandpa, is well aware of the child’s family history and can look for early warning signs of possible illness.  Additionally, because a parent is also bringing children in for their appointments, it opens the door for follow-up questions on issues that mom or dad may have been dealing with, such as problems with breast-feeding, quitting smoking or other behavioral or parental matters.

Another benefit to visiting a primary care physician within the Premier HealthNet system is Epic, the health system’s electronic medical records system.  Epic keeps track of every time a patient sees a doctor within the system.  One feature of EPIC is MyChart, an online patient portal that allows patients to request prescription refills, keep track of vaccinations, receive lab results and even communicate with a doctor by email.  Patients also receive an after visit summary when they leave, which outlines what happened at their most recent visit.

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