Primary care providers key to better health
What are your health goals? Would you like to live longer, enjoy better health full of the activities you love, avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and keep your health care costs low?
The key to reaching these goals is no secret. A primary care provider — which includes physicians and others specializing in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics-gynecology — is often your first contact for health concerns. They are knowledgeable in diagnosing, treating and preventing a wide variety of conditions, and can coordinate care for people with more complex illness requiring the care of multiple specialists. Unfortunately, however, they are in short supply.
The Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortfall of thousands of primary care physicians over the next eight years. Like the rest of the state and country, the Anderson County area is experiencing a growing number of health challenges as the population becomes more diverse, older and less fit – including an increased demand for primary care.
As your trusted partner in health, AnMed Health is taking a multi-faceted approach to improve your access to primary care. Office managers are seeking more efficient ways to operate practices, including extended hours in some offices and more physician assistants and nurse practitioners throughout the system. AnMed Health's CareConnect urgent care clinics, because of their connection to the primary care offices in our network, can offer a seamless experience for patients with minor after-hours or immediate needs. The MyChart patient portal enables patients to ask certain questions or provide information to primary care providers without going into the office, and it helps your primary care provider efficiently share important health information with other providers in the system.
As an ongoing effort, AnMed Health is trying to grow the local roster of primary care physicians through education and recruitment. As a satellite campus for the Medical University of South Carolina, AnMed Health attracts 20 third- and fourth- year medical students to Anderson County each year. In addition, AnMed Health has operated a family medicine residency program for decades. Part of the motivation for these medical education programs is to expose future physicians to the benefits of living and working in the area. Since 1975, more than 300 graduates of our medical education programs have entered the field, a third of them in South Carolina, including five of the physicians below.
A more direct route to increasing availability of primary care is active recruitment of physicians, attracting both new and experienced primary care providers so that more people in the communities we serve can have primary care as well as access to the entire AnMed Health system of care.