Dancel is trained to care for all generations. At Duke Primary Care Meadowmont, he treats lacerations and bruised knees, conducts breast exams and pap smears, and also helps people manage chronic concerns like diabetes and high blood pressure. “Family doctors are very thorough,” he said. “We look at multiple organ systems, rather than focus on one thing.”
When advanced care is needed, Dancel refers his patients to specialists but continues to coordinate their care. Using Duke’s electronic medical records system, he can see which tests are ordered and what medications his patients’ specialists prescribe. That’s important because some medicines may be good for one condition but exacerbate another.
Beta blockers, for example, which control high blood pressure, can worsen a patient’s depression, said Dr. Christina Beck, MD, who practices family medicine in Cary at Duke Primary Care Waverly Place. “The risk/benefit discussion is best provided by the primary care provider who has an established relationship with the patient,” she says.
That relationship can go a long way when it comes to making treatment decisions. Your doctor’s insight into who you are can help him or her counsel you on which treatment is best for you.