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Primary Care

Your First Stop for Medical Care

A Primary Care provider is the first person you’ll have contact with when you have an undiagnosed health issue and are looking for answers. They not only focus on making sure you get well, but on keeping you healthy through preventive care. They will help you along the way with a variety of medical conditions and can refer to a specialist if necessary.

Your Primary Care provider may specialize in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or Pediatrics. If you would feel more comfortable using our TeleHealth services, just call the provider's office. You can make an appointment and connect with your provider from home. We’re just a screen away – computer, iPad or smartphone. It’s easy.

The Specialty Clinics of Sweetwater Memorial have a wide range of providers to meet your needs. With our range of specialists, we can treat everyone from birth to old age.

Call us at (307) 362-3711 to book your appointment today!

5 ways to make the most of your doctors’ appointment

1. Be Honest: It is tempting to say what you think the doctor wants to hear, for example, that you smoke less or eat a more balanced diet than you really do. While this is natural, it’s not in your best interest. Your doctor can suggest the best treatment only if you say what is really going on. For instance, you might say: “I have been trying to quit smoking, as you recommended, but I am not making much headway.”

2. Decide What Questions Are Most Important: Pick three or four questions or concerns that you most want to talk about with the doctor. You can tell him or her what they are at the beginning of the appointment, and then discuss each in turn. If you have time, you can then go on to other questions.

3. Stick to the Point: Although your doctor might like to talk with you at length, each patient is given a limited amount of time. To make the best use of your time, stick to the point. For instance, give the doctor a brief description of the symptom, when it started, how often it happens, and if it is getting worse or better.

4. Share Your Point of View About the Visit: Tell the doctor if you feel rushed, worried, or uncomfortable. If necessary, you can offer to return for a second visit to discuss your concerns. Try to voice your feelings in a positive way. For example, you could say something like: “I know you have many patients to see, but I’m really worried about this. I’d feel much better if we could talk about it a little more.”

5. Remember, the Doctor May Not Be Able to Answer All Your Questions: Even the best doctor may be unable to answer some questions. Most doctors will tell you when they don’t have answers. They also may help you find the information you need or refer you to a specialist. If a doctor regularly brushes off your questions or symptoms as simply a part of aging, think about looking for another doctor.

Getting started with a new doctor:

Share your medical history. Try to fill out as much information as you can before your first visit. If your doctor’s office doesn’t email you a list if information you’ll need, ask them to send you a copy of the medical history form before your visit so you can fill it out at home, where you have the time and information you need to complete it. If you have problems understanding how to fill out any of the forms, ask for help. Tell the doctor about your illnesses, operations, medical conditions, and other doctors you see.

Share former doctors’ names. Give the new doctor all of your former doctors’ names and addresses, especially if they are in a different city. This is to help your new doctor get copies of your medical records. Your doctor will ask you to sign a medical release form giving him or her permission to request your records.

First name or last name. When you see the doctor and office staff, introduce yourself and let them know by what name you prefer to be called. For example: “Hello, my name is Mrs. Martinez,” or “Good morning, my name is Bob Smith. Please call me Bob.”

Ask how the office runs. Learn what days are busiest and what times are best to call. Ask what to do if there is an emergency, or if you need a doctor when the office is closed.

Are there times set aside for the doctor to take phone calls?

How far in advance do you have to make appointments?

What’s the process for urgent care?

How can you reach the doctor in an emergency?

Who takes care of patients after hours or when the doctor is away?

Consider Bringing a Family Member or Friend

Sometimes it is helpful to bring a family member or close friend with you. Let your family member or friend know in advance what you want from your visit. Your companion can remind you what you planned to discuss with the doctor if you forget. She or he can take notes for you and can help you remember what the doctor said.

Request an Interpreter if You Know You’ll Need One

If the doctor you selected or were referred to doesn’t speak your language, ask the doctor’s office to provide an interpreter. Even though some English-speaking doctors know basic medical terms in Spanish or other languages, you may feel more comfortable speaking in your own language, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects, such as sexuality or depression. Call the doctor’s office ahead of time, as they may need to plan for an interpreter to be available.

Always let the doctor, your interpreter, or the staff know if you do not understand your diagnosis or the instructions the doctor gives you. Don’t let language barriers stop you from asking questions or voicing your concerns.

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