Dr. Shida Saam is a leading family doctor serving the whole family.
A family doctor is one who often knows everything about the health history of every member of the family, sometimes from shortly after birth through the later stages of life. These days, however, it’s not unusual for some people to seek medical treatment only when necessary from their local emergency room.
If you don’t yet have a family doctor like Dr. Shida Saam, take a moment to consider some of the ways you could benefit from having a family doctor
- Sick visits
- Well child exams
They Provide Health Care Through All Stages of Life
Family doctors typically treat patients of all ages. This means they are often well aware of the unique health care needs patients have at different stages of life. Such doctors have knowledge of a wide range of health conditions, so they can likely tell when something’s not right — or when something you’ve been worrying about is perfectly normal or easily treatable. Annual checkups with the same doctor also make it easier to identify times when you may need certain vaccinations or preventative health screenings appropriate for your age.
They’ll Know Your Personal and Family Medical History
Your medical history can be a valuable piece of your health puzzle. Family doctors track not only the times when you’ve had your shots or when you’ve been sick or hospitalized, but also things like whether or not high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes runs in your family. If you have a family history of cancer, for example, you may benefit more from preventative screenings for certain types of cancer; or if you are planning to have children, genetic counseling may be recommended if you have a medical history that suggests a higher risk for genetic defects or a hereditary disease.
Family Doctors Do More Than Provide Check-Ups and Shots
Family doctors do more than prescribe antibiotics and give you your annual flu shot. They can also give you advice on how to minimize seasonal allergy symptoms, what foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, and types of exercise that may help you minimize arthritis-related pain. Such doctors also make a point of addressing your mental health needs by spotting possible signs of increased stress or depression. They can also give you sound medical advice that’s more specific than what you might find from a random online search. For instance, there may be a trendy diet you want to try, but your family doctor may explain why it’s not something that would likely benefit you based on their knowledge of your health history.
They Know When to Direct Your Towards an Appropriate Specialist
Many health care plans require patients to get referrals from their regular doctor to see a specialist. Your family doctor can determine if specialized care or testing is right for you. For example, if you’re at a point where your back pain is getting worse, your doctor may have recommended different medications and suggested diet and exercise changes — but nothing is helping. She may suspect that you have a herniated disc or that those tingling sensations in your legs might be due to sciatica. So, it would make sense to recommend that you see a spine specialist for a more detailed evaluation.
Family Doctors Are Excellent Long-Term Care Managers
If you have a condition such as diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, chronic neck or back pain, or asthma, a family doctor will be able to help you manage it more effectively. They will be able to track your progression with a long-term condition and manage the medications you may need to control symptoms and ease your discomfort. They will also know what precautions to recommend, such as keeping your weight within a normal range and monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly if you have type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that more than 90 percent of patients manage their own chronic care needs. However, working with your doctor can ease that burden and possibly give you new insights on how to manage your condition.
You have a lot going on in your life, so think of a doctor like Dr. Shida Saam as someone who can help keep your health-related needs more organized. And while it’s sometimes more convenient to visit an emergency room or an urgent care clinic, regular visits could save you time and money by helping you avoid situations where immediate care is needed, partly because of a focus on prevention, not just treatment. Flu shots alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prevent millions of hospital visits each year.