A family physician provides more than just checkups

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

By Jason Peklinsky, MD

Dr. Jason Peklinsky

A family medicine physician plays an important role in monitoring your health and protecting you from chronic illness and disease. It's an appropriate name for what we do, because we strive to care for entire families with complete, convenient care in one location at the WVU Medicine University Town Centre.

Here are some of the common and lesser known services that we offer – all under one roof:

1. General wellness exams
From well-child exams to annual Medicare wellness exams, your family medicine physician (also known as a primary care provider) is your first point of contact for any medical needs across your lifespan. We aim to identify medical issues and intervene as early as possible. Regular checkups may help reduce your overall medical costs by allowing us to catch any issues early and monitoring your condition effectively.

2. Acute illness management
Have you been injured or are you experiencing coughing and sneezing? We want to help you heal quickly and get back to good health. Many practices, including mine, have same-day appointments available. Our facility also has advanced imaging and laboratory services onsite. We can assist with splints for broken bones, braces for injuries, home rehabilitation instructions, and more.

3. Counseling
Family medicine physicians are often the first providers to help identify and manage mental health concerns. We know that mental health is equally as important as physical wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your family medicine physician if you have any concerns or if you notice any changes in your quality of life. If you need a referral for a mental health specialist, we will coordinate your care with providers at WVU Medicine Chestnut Ridge Center.

4. Women's health
Are you due for a Pap smear? Are you thinking about family planning? We provide these services. We can also provide options for delaying pregnancy. We offer the full spectrum of services, including developing a reproductive life plan, implantable birth control, and gynecologic exams.

5. Minor procedures
Do you have a lump, bump, or growth that wasn't there before? From skin biopsies to toenail removal, many family medicine physicians are well trained in simple clinic-based procedures. Did you know that our practice also performs vasectomies in office? Don't assume that you need a referral for a medical procedure. Talk with your family doctor first and find out about what procedures are offered.

6. Chronic disease management
Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – your family physician is right there with you to keep you as healthy as possible. We will work directly with specialists to ensure that you receive the most up-to-date and appropriate care. Some family medicine practices even offer additional services with onsite dietitians, pharmacists, and nurse case managers to make sure that you understand daily management of your illness, necessary dietary changes, and how your medications work. Nurse case managers act as an extra resource when there are questions and concerns, and sometimes, you don’t even have to come to the office to get answers.

Our family medicine physicians are here to help you navigate the healthcare system, and we are an excellent resource to keep you and your entire family in good health. Due for a checkup? Make an appointment with a family medicine physician today: 855-WVU-CARE.

Sign up for our secure, online patient portal MyWVUChart to communicate with your family medicine physician, make appointments, view test results, get prescription refills, and more: MyWVUChart.com.