Written by Jill Biggins Gerbracht
Working together to achieve a common goal—that’s the value
of teamwork in the world of sports. And it works just as well when it
comes to your family’s health. Like a football team working together
on the field, having dedicated relationships with your primary and specialist
physicians can help you and your family face whatever health challenges
may come your way at each stage of life.
PULSE spoke to physicians in four key specialty areas: primary care, OB-GYN,
pediatrics and urgent care. Here they share how taking advantage of a
health care dream team like this can improve your quality of life while
decreasing medical costs in the long run.
Why is it important to have a primary care doctor?
Primary care physicians serve on the front lines of health care. We are
often the first to see depression, early signs of cancer or chronic disease
and other health concerns. Your primary care physician (PCP) is essentially
the “quarterback” of your medical team.
We focus on preventive health measures to ensure you have the best possible
outcomes. We focus on screenings such as immunizations and pap smears—helping
you accomplish these health care goals. We also diagnose various conditions,
initiate treatment plans and medications, and refer to specialists when needed.
Through routine checkups, your PCP can head potentially serious problems
off at the pass. And primary care also lowers costs! Having a dedicated
PCP can save an average of 33% on health care compared to those who only
see specialists. Access to primary care helps keep people out of emergency
rooms, where care costs at least four times as much as outpatient care.
What is the pediatrician’s role in overall child development?
We play an important role in navigating your child’s overall health
from birth to adulthood. We act as a “coach” during the formative
early years, encouraging healthy lifestyles that will hopefully last into
adulthood and improve quality of life. By keeping up with regular checkups
and immunizations, we can monitor your child’s development as they
grow from curious toddlers to busy teens. We are also able to recognize
concerns such as developmental delays, which caught early and treated
with the appropriate therapy can make a world of difference long-term.
What is the importance of an OB-GYN in the cycles of a woman’s life?
Your OB-GYN is there to offer reassurance that what you are experiencing
is normal. He or she can observe and detect any irregularities throughout
various life stages. Like an “offensive coordinator,” OB-GYNs
help you reach and attain different milestones.
We help young women as they start to understand their bodies, including
changes in hormone levels and initiation of the menstrual cycle.
We prepare soon-to-be mothers through preconception counseling on topics
from achieving healthy body weight to immunizations and safe medications
Prior to menopause, women should keep up with annual exams. Results can
lead to the treatment of issues before they become too serious and contribute
to lowering health care costs and increasing life expectancy.
Menopausal symptoms can be bothersome and decrease quality of life. We
provide guidance for treating these symptoms and helping mitigate the risks.
What services does urgent care offer?
Urgent care is a helpful resource for same-day evaluation of minor illnesses
and injuries. We are open on weekends and holidays and treat everything
from sore throats to cold and flu, earaches, sinus infections, urinary
tract infections, sprains, minor cuts, minor fractures and more. We are
at the ready when you need us just like “special teams” on
the football field. We commonly perform many types of procedures and offer
some lab tests with immediate results including rapid strep and flu tests,
urine dipstick and urine pregnancy tests. We can also perform X-rays for
most body parts.
Urgent Care vs. Emergency Department
Urgent care centers vary greatly in the services they offer, but life-threatening
emergencies always need to be treated in the emergency department (ED).
Going to an urgent care center first can prolong the time it takes to
get you the help you need. Some examples of symptoms best evaluated in
the ED include chest pain, possible heart attack, concern of a stroke,
sudden dizziness or weakness, difficulty breathing, a severe allergic
reaction, seizures or a severe injury with uncontrollable bleeding. We
hope you stay healthy enough to avoid a trip to urgent care, but if an
unexpected health problem comes up when your regular doctor is not available,
urgent care is a good alternative to the ED for minor health issues.
Torrance Memorial Physician Network contact information:
Rumi Cader, MD, 3701 Skypark Dr, Ste 100, Torrance 90505, 310-378-2234
Annette Liu, MD, 824 E. Carson St, Ste 202, Carson 90745, 310-233-3209
Joseph Roofeh, MD, 29409 S. Western Ave, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275, 310-784-6848
Genevieve Hasek, MD, 2900 Lomita Blvd, Torrance 90505, 310-784-3740