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Whitehall of Deerfield - Healthcare Center

Building a relationship with a primary care physician

Everyone is looking for a quick and easy lifestyle via cellphones, instant messaging and electronic wizardry. Although this attitude may work for paying bills and ordering pizza, it is not wise to apply it to your health care. Popping into a mini-clinic to care for a sore throat or checking symptoms at on online website may seem like a timesaver, but this is not a good substitute for a visit with a primary care physician.

Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health suggest that more than 127,000 deaths per year could have been averted through the increase of primary care physician use. Other studies show a link between health care outcomes and the availability of a primary care physician.  When primary care physicians are present, health care is improved. Time spent building a relationship with a primary care physician is not wasted since it may affect — and even save — your life.

What is primary care?

According to the Institute of Medicine, primary care is defined as accessible health care provided by clinicians who are responsible for the majority of personal health care needs. To be successful, the relationship should be sustained and in the context of family and community. Forming this relationship can be challenging in today’s mobile society. Health insurance requirements can also affect primary care relationships. But making the effort to overcome these issues and establish a strong connection to a primary care physician can significantly affect the quality of health care received.

Knowing who you are

Having a doctor who is familiar with your medical history saves time and assures better care. Instead of having to recall when you had your appendix removed or the name of that medication you used to take, you can focus on your current health needs if you have a strong relationship with your doctor.  He has access to your medical history and can refer to it as the diagnosis is made. When there is a strong relationship, care can be tailored to an individual’s needs and be more effective.

Adding that ounce of prevention

A primary care physician can focus on your current health needs including preventative care. For example, getting a tetanus shot every 10 years keeps you safe from serious infection but few people can recall if or when they had the shot. A primary care physician has access to your medical history and can help keep you up to date on preventative screenings and immunizations based on your age, occupation and personal health.

Providing a managed outlook

A primary care physician does not take care of all your medical needs and may refer you to a specialist for a complicated medical issue. However, the specialist will share findings with your primary care physician so he continues to have a complete picture of your health if and when new issues arise. The primary care physician can also see potential conflicts of treatment options based on his knowledge of your medical history and can act to avoid problems.

Building the relationship

Being able to trust and talk with your doctor is the keystone to receiving good medical care. The first step in building this connection is to be honest and open with your doctor. When the doctor asks “how are you doing?” don’t automatically reply “fine,” especially if you are having problems. A doctor is not a mind reader so you need to share symptoms with him so he can develop an effective treatment. Many people find it helpful to write down concerns and questions before an appointment so that they are not forgotten. Ask questions about treatments and medications so you understand why you are being asked to do them. Finally, follow the doctor’s instructions. Get the follow-up blood test. Schedule the screening. Take the medications. Lose a few pounds. There needs to be a team approach to your health care between you and your doctor. Good health is not something the doctor can prescribe alone or something that a patient can achieve alone. Working together is the best plan for a healthy lifestyle.

When extra care is needed

This determination to make your health care a priority should continue even if you experience a major medical event like a heart attack or need specialized surgery like joint replacement. One of the best ways to address the time of recovery after these medical events is to consider staying in a short-term care facility. Spending time in one of these specialized facilities can mean a shorter and more effective outcome to your medical issue.

Glenview Terrace has earned a reputation for providing excellent short-term care following a hospital stay. It provides acclaimed one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies up to seven days a week with the goal of returning the patient home as quickly as possible. The expert nursing team and support staff are ready with round-the-clock care for every need that arises from wound care to pain management.

This specialized care is offered with the strictest and most up-to-date infection-control precautions under the guidance of Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC. Glenview Terrace also takes every additional precaution possible — including routine facility-wide testing and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 and frequent disinfecting of high-touch surfaces with EPA-approved cleaning materials.

In an elegant environment, well-appointed rooms and suites are filled with custom-designed furnishings and include a deluxe bathroom with a private shower. Guests are pampered with a variety of amenities including attentive concierge service, morning coffee and newspaper delivered daily to the room, diverse menu selections and much more. The attractive grounds and tranquil fountain are just some of the extras that go into creating an inviting environment for recovery.

When looking for an effective and  elegant recovery experience, consider Glenview Terrace where the goal is to quickly and safely get you back to your independent lifestyle. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.