Aspen Medical Center Blog

Physicians

Debunking 3 Common Myths About Primary Care Physicians

Primary care doctors are the first point of call for a lot of patients in the US. They are the “gatekeepers” to specialized care and are there to treat symptoms and look after your general health. While primary care physicians do not have to have any particular specialty, they are more likely to be family physicians or general practitioners.

On that note, primary care physicians provide care for their patients in the areas of preventive, acute, and chronic care. This can include physical exams and diagnostic testing, immunizations, counseling, referring patients to specialists, and prescribing medication.

Unfortunately, there are far too many myths and misconceptions floating around out there that misinform consumers and make everything harder than it should be, so it’s important to look at the world of primary care through a clear lens.

Myth #1: Any Health Professional can Perform Primary Care

This is one of the most common misconceptions about primary care. While it’s true that any type of health professional can do primary care, it’s more of a specialty than a generalized title. The title of primary care physician (PCP) is held only by doctors that have gone to medical school and completed the necessary residency training to become primary care doctors.

In fact, there are many health care professionals that can do primary care, but not all of them are primary care physicians. So you may see certified ambulatory care nurse practitioners or physician assistants that are providing primary care, but they are not primary care physicians.

Remember, to be a primary care physician you must have completed medical school and a residency. To be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, you need to have completed an accredited school and passed the necessary boards. These are not interchangeable titles.

Myth #2: You Only Need to Visit a Primary Care Physician if You’re Sick

Primary care physicians are not limited to just treating illnesses. They also help patients prevent illness through regular physical exams, administration of vaccines, diet consultations, and other preventative medicine.

They are also used as a resource for navigating a complex healthcare system and helping patients understand the different treatment options that are available to them. 

In some cases, a primary care physician will play the dual role of a physician assistant or nurse practitioner and also assist their patients in navigating the healthcare system to get access to needed treatment.

Myth #3: You Always Need the Primary Care Physician’s Referral When Seeing a Specialist

Not all specialists will require an official referral from a primary care physician. In most cases, if you have a specific condition or are having a specific issue, you can just go and see the specialist. The specialist will then be able to diagnose or treat you.

However, if you have a broad list of symptoms or a number of issues that you’d like to be taken care of, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss your situation. Your doctor can then make recommendations and set up a plan for you.

The Bottom Line: Understanding Your Primary Care Physician’s Role

Primary care physicians play an important role in the healthcare system and it’s important to understand their role and how they fit into the bigger picture. While they are not the same as other healthcare professionals, they are an essential part of navigating the system and getting the care you need.

Are You Looking for a Primary Care Physician in Santa Fe?

If you are looking for a primary care doctor in Santa Fe, we would be happy to help you. Aspen Medical Center has a talented group of primary care physicians in Santa Fe who are here to provide you with the help you need!

eye

Corneal Abrasion: What Is It & How Can You Prevent It

Our eyes are essential parts of our body, and like the others, they are also prone to having issues. For instance, you can injure your eyes from poking or sand under your eyelids. These things might be simple, but they can hurt—and worse, they can cause a corneal abrasion.

What is a corneal abrasion, and how can you prevent having one? Continue reading to find out.

What Is Corneal Abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a minor injury on the eye’s surface, and while it may seem painful, it can be treated—and will heal. You may have a corneal abrasion when tissue scraps off your eye’s surface. If you get a foreign object in your eye or rub it on hard surfaces, this can happen.

There are different corneal abrasions, and each can affect the cornea differently. These can range from minor and not needing treatment to a condition called corneal scarring that may require corrective surgery. Ultimately, prevention is key in protecting the cornea.

What Causes Corneal Abrasion?

As mentioned earlier, there are different corneal abrasions, and each has its specific cause. Here are the most common reasons for corneal abrasion:

1. Foreign Objects in the Eye

You can have a corneal abrasion when a foreign object gets in your eye. When this happens, the object can scrape off the cornea’s surface and cause a corneal abrasion. It can be anything from a grain of sand, a twig to a needle. Be careful with your eyes, and always wash your hands before touching your eyes to prevent eye injuries.

2. Caught on a Surface

A corneal abrasion can also occur when you rub your eyes on hard surfaces like walls or trees. It can result in your eye-catching on the surface, which can scrape the cornea’s surface. Protect your eyes by avoiding rubbing them on hard surfaces or catching them on sharp surfaces.

3. Falling

Your corneas can be scraped off when the ground catches you when you fall. This can happen when you trip and fall hard, hitting your face on the ground. Protect your eyes when you are in dangerous places, and always wear protective eyewear when you have to go into those places.

4. Blow to the Face

A blow to the face can also cause a corneal abrasion. Be careful when playing sports or in dangerous places, and always wear protective eyewear.

5. An Eye Infection

When you have an eye infection or a bacterial infection, it can spread to the cornea. When this happens, it can cause the cornea to be inflamed and result in corneal abrasion. Treat any eye infections immediately and avoid getting them in the first place by maintaining good hygiene and washing your hands regularly.

How Can You Prevent Corneal Abrasion?

Preventing a corneal abrasion is not always possible. However, you can easily avoid the aggravation of your corneal abrasion. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of getting a corneal abrasion:

  • Stay away from dangerous places. It can be tempting to go somewhere risky just for fun, but you should always consider the risks.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to your surroundings and watch out for your surroundings. Avoid walking into dangerous places too.
  • Wear protective eyewear. Always wear eye protection when you are in dangerous places. If you are playing sports, wear protective eyewear.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Not only should you wash your hands before touching your eyes, but you should also wash your hands regularly to help prevent the spread of any eye infections.
  • Clean your contact lenses. Follow the prescription of your eye doctor and clean your contact lenses regularly.

Final Thoughts

Corneal abrasions are minor injuries, and they can be treated. While it may not cause you to lose your vision, it can be very painful. As mentioned, prevention is critical when it comes to this eye concern.

If you need a primary care physician in Santa Fe for an urgent corneal abrasion treatment, you can visit Aspen Medical Center. We provide urgent care for people with immediate health concerns, including acute respiratory infections, fevers, sprains, UTIs, and eye emergencies. Call us at 505-605-5732 for more information.

diabetes

5 Apparent Differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Many people suffer from various chronic conditions that severely affect their quality of life. One perfect example is diabetes, which is a condition that significantly increases the risk of kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness, and amputation, among other health problems.

Diabetes occurs when there is an excessive amount of glucose circulating in the blood. Although this condition is typically caused by genetics, other things can also trigger it, such as high stress levels, obesity, and poor eating habits. Furthermore, diabetes is also divided into two categories: type 1 and type 2. Not many people are aware of their differences, so we’ll discuss some of the differences between them. These include:

#1 – Type 1 Diabetes Is More Common in Children and Adolescents

Type 1 diabetes is a condition that primarily affects children and adolescents. After the age of 30, this condition tends to disappear independently. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is more common in older people. It’s for this reason that it’s also called adult-onset diabetes.

#2 – You’re Likely to Develop Type 1 Diabetes If It’s in Your Family

One of the reasons type 1 diabetes tends to affect the younger generations is that it’s inherited. If it runs in your family, you’re likely to develop it. This does not mean you cannot develop type 2 diabetes if it’s not in your family. However, you have a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes if you have a parent or sibling with the condition.

Furthermore, if your parent or sibling was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 30, then you’re even more likely to develop it. If you were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 15, you’re likely guaranteed to develop type 2 diabetes.

#3 – Type 1 Diabetes Is an Autoimmune Disorder

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The body can no longer have enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune disorder. Instead, it is a metabolic disease, which means genetic factors and lifestyle choices cause it. However, some cases of type 2 diabetes are caused by complications associated with type 1 diabetes, meaning it could also be considered an autoimmune disease.

#4 – Type 2 Diabetes Can Take Years to Develop

Type 2 diabetes is known to develop slowly. For this reason, many people can control the disease for years before it even becomes noticeable. As a result, the symptoms are rarely recognized. The disease typically occurs 10 to 15 years after the first warning signs, which is when it becomes a significant health concern.

On the other hand, people who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes always have the same symptoms. The symptoms are usually apparent, and they are easily identified. For this reason, most people develop this condition right after they reach puberty when the symptoms are more recognizable.

#5 – Type 2 Diabetes Needs Extra Measures for Management

Although there is no known cure for type 2 diabetes, it can be controlled with the help of medications and diet changes. However, it’s not easy to maintain the sugar levels in the blood. As a result, people with type 2 diabetes require regular medical checkups to determine how they’re doing.

On the other hand, type 1 diabetes is usually managed with medication alone. This is because it is controlled by insulin therapy, which is usually given through injections or an insulin pump. This small mechanical device delivers insulin through a tube inserted under the skin.

Conclusion

It’s easy to confuse type 2 and type 1 diabetes. However, they’re very different conditions. While both conditions need to be managed, they’re usually handled differently. People with diabetes should not be treated in the same situation. It’s best to consult with a doctor to know the possible options for treatment.

If you’re looking for primary care physicians in Santa Fe, Aspen Medical Center can help you! Our healthcare professionals understand every patient’s needs, so we can guarantee that you’ll get the treatment you deserve regardless of age. Simply go to our website to book a consultation!

Physician

How Will You Find the Right Primary Care Physician for You?

Primary care physicians are the backbone of most healthcare systems. They provide a wide variety of services but bear the lion’s share of responsibility for care coordination, which means that their impact goes far beyond the provision of a few services. 

Deciding to choose a new primary care physician is a big decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. To help increase the likelihood of finding a practitioner who meets your needs and wants, here are some tips:

Know “In-Network” Doctors

A lot of health plans come with negotiated special, discounted rates with specific doctors and hospitals in a particular area. In that case, you will pay less for visiting these “in-network” doctors. When you choose an in-network doctor, you can guarantee that the doctor accepts your insurance plan. 

Choose a Doctor With Expertise That Meets Your Specific Needs

Different doctors specialize in various types of medicine. Some specialize in a specific ailment, while others are only proficient in certain age groupings or types of patients. 

For example, you are a young adult needing primary care. In that case, you might consider choosing a doctor who specializes in young adults, who is up-to-date with the latest information on your specific condition, and who is familiar with your kind of body. The more you research your condition, the better you will be at finding a doctor who can give you the best care.

Ask for Referrals from Friends, Family, or Colleagues

A good way to find a doctor is to ask for referrals from people you know and trust. Some people prefer to find a doctor through word of mouth since a lot of office staff—including the doctors—rely on word of mouth to get new customers to visit their office.

Consider the Logistics

Regardless of how great a doctor you have chosen, it may not work out in the end if the office is too far away and if there is a long wait time. You may have to give up some time out of your day to see a doctor, so try to make it as convenient as possible. 

Before you sign up, make sure you can get to the location without hassle, and you can get a timely appointment without too much hassle. Also, make sure you can get an appointment when it is most convenient for you!

Read Reviews on the Doctor

You can also turn to the internet to see what others have written about the doctor. Nowadays, professional doctors and office staff have official websites outlining what they do and if they have any reviews. Other online sites will have reviews on the doctor, as well.

Call the Office and Ask Questions

Before you sign up, call the office and ask a few questions. First of all, make sure that you can get an appointment with the chosen doctor. You can also ask specific questions about how the office operates, what the office hours are like, how much the doctors charge, and the general quality of service you can expect.

The Best Primary Care Physician for You

Finding a new primary care physician is important, and it may take some time to find the right fit. Use these steps to find the right primary care for you. Although it may take some time, it will be worth it.

Aspen Medical Center is a medical clinic in Santa Fe and Espanola. We offer state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Get in touch with us!

weight loss

A Medical Scourge: What You Need to Know about Obesity

Your family physician (or any doctor) would tell you that obesity can be fatal. However, how can you determine when a person is considered obese or simply overweight? This article will give you a better understanding of this lifestyle disease.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is associated with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. It is also associated with a waist circumference of 40 inches or higher for men or 35 inches or higher for women. In addition, this is also associated with significant health risks.

In the United States, most people are considered overweight if the body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 kg/m 2. In addition, if the waist circumference is over 35 inches for men and 31.5 inches for women, this is also considered overweight.

Obesity Screening

Your family physician will carry out several tests to determine if you have obesity. They will ask you questions regarding your lifestyle. Questions include how often you get up to go to the bathroom at night and how many times you eat in a week.  

They will also inquire about your activities and how often you participate in physical exercise. If you fall obese, you can go to a hospital to undergo more tests. The final examination will determine your body mass index (BMI). Also, your vital signs will be documented.  

Diet and Exercise

If you are obese, this means you are acquiring excess weight. In the United States, one in three people is considered obese. It is a severe problem, and any obese person should aim to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

For an obese person, a dietician and a physician should be consulted. The dietician will help you lose weight by cutting calories and increasing exercise. If you are not accustomed to physical activity, a gradual increase in physical activity is recommended. In addition, you can consider a weight loss supplement if you want to speed up the process.

If you want to lose weight, you will have to eat a healthy diet and exercise. This lifestyle change is not easy, but it is possible with the help of your family physician and dietitian. Many people have undergone this successful lifestyle change.

Diet and exercise are the best ways to lose weight. You can visit your family physician at the earliest to determine if you are one. They will also help you lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.  

Conclusion

If you are obese, you are at risk of developing several diseases. Obesity is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. To avoid these, you have to visit your family physician to determine if you are one. You will be able to live a healthy lifestyle, and you will lose weight. 

If you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, you have to eat a healthy diet and exercise. You can visit your family physician for assistance. In addition, you can also consider a weight loss supplement.

If you are looking for family physician in Santa Fe, you should visit Aspen Medical Center. We do not only house reputable and seasoned doctors, but we also have state-of-the-art medical equipment. With us, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. Call now to schedule an appointment!

care provider

What Are the Advantages of Having a Primary Care Provider?

As the primary healthcare provider for their patients, PCPs are the first responders for any unusual health symptoms or concerns. They act as a single point of contact for all future healthcare needs, as well as preventive care. Many PCPs have special training in the field of infectious disease and immunization, as well as communicable diseases, to avoid the spread of illness to others.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Primary Care Provider?

1 – Continuity

The primary care provider is a member of the patient’s healthcare team and continues to provide care for them throughout their life. Having a PCP who knows your medical history can help you get better care in the future. Having a PCP is convenient for both patients and PCPs as they can provide care for your entire family, including spouses, children, and aging parents.

2 – Easy Access

Having a PCP is convenient for when you need to see a doctor, but if you don’t have a primary care provider, then the process of finding a new one can be challenging. Most PCPs will have an established patient base. They will know other doctors, specialists, and hospitals to that they can refer their patients.

3 – Better Coordination of Care

Having PCP can help you get the most out of different specialists to diagnose and treat your illness. Coordinating care with your PCP can reduce missed appointments and duplication of tests, which helps keep costs down. For example, your PCP can tell you when you need to see a specialist versus when you can manage your chronic condition on your own.

4 – Patient Satisfaction

Studies have shown that patients like and prefer having a PCP. Having a PCP leads to better communication between healthcare providers, which leads to improved patient satisfaction. Having a PCP can also reduce the number of unnecessary ER visits.

5 – Early Detection of Serious Health Issues

Having a PCP can lead to better coordination of care with your doctor. They can help detect serious health issues, including heart disease and cancer, long before they become life-threatening. Many chronic diseases can be managed with the right care and medications.

6 – Improved Health Outcomes

PCPs can help manage your chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Studies have shown that patients with a PCP are more likely to have better health outcomes and live longer.

7 – Expertise

If you have a complex medical issue, you’ll want a specialist who’ll communicate with your PCP. Your PCP will be able to refer you to the right specialist, who will, in turn, communicate with your PCP about any updates.

Conclusion

Having a PCP can provide several advantages for patients and their families. Having a primary care provider (PCP) is a great way to get and stay healthy. By seeking regular health screenings and preventive care early on, you can avoid expensive, unnecessary, and uncomfortable visits to the ER. Having a PCP reduces health-related costs and unnecessary treatments, helping you reach your health goals.

If you are in search of a family physician in Santa Fe, visit Aspen Medical Center. We are an outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services.