“Thank You, Doctor!” (thankyoudoctor.org) is a global campaign that seeks to value the humanizing role played by the primary care physician, also known as the family doctor, in the healthcare system and in society.
The “Thank You, Doctor!” campaign, initiated by the non-profit medical association SOMOS Community Care in New York, was born with the support of institutions, associations, and organizations such as the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Italian College of Physicians, the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, hospitals, medical schools, patient associations…
The role of the primary care physician in the healthcare system and in society is essential for five reasons:
- Access point to the healthcare system: The primary care physician is often the first person patients turn to when they have health problems. They act as an entry point to the healthcare system and guide patients through the maze of medical specialties and services.
- Comprehensive and continuous care: The family doctor is trained to treat a wide variety of health issues, which allows them to provide care to patients of all ages and conditions, from acute problems to chronic diseases. They often establish long-term relationships with their patients, knowing their medical histories and life contexts in depth. This trust facilitates more personalized and effective care.
- Prevention and education: Primary care physicians play a fundamental role in health promotion and disease prevention. Through regular check-ups, screening tests, and advice on healthy lifestyles, they help to prevent health problems or detect them at early stages when they are more treatable.
- Care coordination: When it is necessary to refer a patient to a specialist or request additional tests, the primary care physician plays a coordinating role, ensuring that all parties involved in the patient’s care are informed and work in a synchronized manner.
- Efficiency and cost reduction: By handling a wide variety of health problems, the primary care physician can reduce the need for costly visits to specialists or unnecessary tests. Moreover, by focusing on prevention and early detection, they can help avoid complications that require more intensive and expensive treatments in the future.
In summary, the primary care physician is a central figure in medical care and in the humanization of society since ancient times, offering comprehensive care, coordinating services, promoting prevention, and being a pillar of trust for patients.