If you don’t have a family medicine provider, consider the impact one could make on your overall health and life. Family medicine physicians are trained in almost all areas of medicine and can follow every aspect of your care throughout your lifetime. Your family physician, or primary care provider, will conduct regular checkups and offer health advice tailored to your personal situation. They perform accurate medical examinations and can easily spot changes in your emotional, mental and physical health. These providers can help you manage chronic conditions, and with their connections to the community, often are in the best position to refer you to the specialist that fits your specific needs and personality.
Dr. Brandon Lancaster, a board-certified family medicine physician with East Tennessee Medical Group, says the relationship with your family physician is essential. “What I like about family medicine is that with these annual checkups, you create a relationship with each patient, you determine with them what their health care goals are and tailor care to fit them best. It’s important to have this relationship so we can identify potential problems before they become more difficult to manage. Our area struggles with obesity, cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic conditions such as COPD and emphysema,” Lancaster explained. “Family medicine physicians are able to identify issues before they become bigger than preventative care,” he added.
In addition to physical ailments, your family medicine provider also can help with emotional and mental health. “Some issues are hard to talk about or difficult to wrap your head around, but it’s much easier to have those discussions with someone you’re comfortable with, so that connection with your family physician is important.” Lancaster said. “With mental health, specifically anxiety and depression, patients need to know there’s someone they lean on to help get through that. Our patients are more willing to talk with us about difficult things due to our ongoing relationship,” he added.
And when a specialist is needed, your primary care physician puts in the referral and keeps tabs on all the moving parts of your care. “A family medicine provider runs point on the patient’s healthcare. It’s not uncommon for a diagnosis to require multiple providers and a team approach, but as your family physician, we help organize the care provided and ensure everything is covered and nothing gets missed. We work together to improve the quality of life, and often can get treatment started while you await an appointment with a specialist,” Lancaster explained.
“I enjoy family medicine. It’s rewarding when you feel like you’ve made a connection with someone, and you’ve improved their quality of life, even if it’s in a small way. That’s the best thing about what we do,” Lancaster said.
To make an appointment with Dr. Brandon Lancaster or any of the family medicine physicians at East Tennessee Medical Group, call 865-984-3864.