Adult Primary Care
Adult Primary Care Overview
Finding a medical home where you and your family can be seen in one convenient place for all your healthcare needs is an important decision. Even if you’re currently healthy, now is a good time to establish a relationship with a doctor who can help you meet your health goals and be there for you when you do need care. That’s why choosing a Saint John’s Physician Partners (SJPP) primary care physician (PCP) is a smart choice. At SJPP, you and your family can access a broad range of health services across multiple convenient locations in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Playa Vista. We offer online scheduling, sameday appointments, and telehealth options (when appropriate).
Our board-certified PCPs take care of patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. We offer a broad spectrum of services, from preventive care and routine health screening, to evaluation and treatment of acute illness and injuries, to long-term management of chronic medical conditions, to coordination of care with other specialists.
Developing an ongoing relationship with one of our primary care physicians means that whatever care you need, you always have someone you know and trust to help diagnose, treat, and if needed, refer you to the most appropriate specialist.
At Saint John’s Physician Partners, we pride ourselves on the personalized care and relationships we have with the families and individuals who place their trust in our care. Together, we can work toward our common goal of keeping you and your family healthy.
Adult Primary Care Services Include
Women’s Healthcare Overview
Saint John’s Physician Partners primary care and internal medicine doctors understand, manage and treat the special needs of women throughout their lives. As part of the personalized and integrated care we provide to help you take control of your health, we offer the following services and screenings:
- Routine wellness visits – These important visits help you optimize your overall health and include routine screening for cancers of the cervix (Pap smear), breast (clinical exam and referral for appropriate imaging), and colon. We will also go over your immunization and other age appropriate preventative screenings.
- Menstrual management – If you suffer from irregular, heavy, or painful periods, your primary care doctor can help evaluate and treat your symptoms.
- Contraceptive management – There are many different types of birth control available. Your primary care doctor can help you decide which method is best for you.
- Menopause & hormone replacement – Menopause, or “the change of life,” occurs when your ovaries stop releasing eggs and you stop having periods. The average age for menopause in the US is 51. The natural decline in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels that occurs with menopause may cause women to experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood and sleep disturbances. Some women may benefit from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to ease these symptoms. Your primary care physician can help guide you in choosing the most appropriate treatment options for your particular situation. For more information about this topic, go to Menopause and HRT.
- Sexually transmitted infections – Routine screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is important for anyone who is sexually active. Many STIs are “silent”—that is, they may not cause obvious symptoms, but if left untreated, they can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and birth defects. For more information about this topic, go to Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Vaginitis evaluation and treatment – Vaginal health can be affected by many things, including diet, medications, and sexual activity. If you notice any symptoms such as vaginal itching, burning, unusual discharge, or urinary symptoms, talk with your primary care physician. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause. For more information about this topic, go to: Vaginal Discomfort and Pain
- Nutrition counseling – what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat your food and your level of activity can greatly affect your health and wellbeing in many ways, and can have a big impact on your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and other diseases. Being overweight and obese can also significantly impact one’s self-confidence and mental health. During a Nutrition counseling visit, we spend time exploring your dietary and lifestyle choices and based on your medical history, come up with the best, approach to help you lose body fat and improve the quality of your life, which will lead you on the path to better health.
Men’s Healthcare Overview
Being proactive about your health can extend your life expectancy and improve your quality of life. At Saint John’s Physician Partners, our primary care physicians (PCP) understand the unique health conditions that affect men such as prostate problems and other conditions. We understand that men need to pay more attention to their health, including their lifestyle choices that can impact their quality of life such as smoking, alcohol use and nutrition. Many of the major health risks men face can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis through screening tests and regular visits with your PCP. Saint John’s Physician Partners PCPs are experts in assessing men’s health and in preventive care. We often catch developing conditions when they’re most treatable by providing the latest screenings as well as the most up to date information on how to stay well. That’s why developing a relationship with one of our PCPs you’re comfortable with is an important step in staying healthy. We treat health conditions that affect men including:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
This is a common condition, as men get older. An enlarged prostate can be uncomfortable with urinary problems such as weak flow or blocking the flow of urine when you pee. I can also cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems. There are several effective treatments for BPH, including medications, minimally invasive therapies and surgery.
Always having to go and frequent night urination may be caused by existing disease such as diabetes, liver failure or heart disease, prostate problems as well as certain medications and caffeinated beverages.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. This could be caused by underlying conditions such as low testosterone or your emotional state and can be treated. If you’re sexually active, it’s also important to get tested for sexually transmitted infections.
Food choices affect your health such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other diseases. Nutrition counseling can help you make the best choices for you and lead you on the path to better health.
Don’t put off regular checkups and medical care. Screenings can find diseases early when they’re easier to treat. Saint John’s Physician Partners are here for you.
Geriatric Care Overview
At Saint John’s Physician Partners, our primary care physicians (PCP) offer care for our patients over age 65. This special care is called geriatric care. We know that our senior patients are less likely to end up in the hospital or nursing home when they have regular visits with their PCP; these visits allow us to identify potential problems, diagnose and treat conditions early. If you’re responsible for or taking care of senior parents, it’s a comfort to know that we are always on the lookout for the early signs of conditions that can impair their health. If you’re a senior looking for personalized and coordinated care, our extensive experience and training means we understand, diagnose and treat age-related problems. Our goal is to keep our senior patients as healthy and independent as they can be and to provide the resources that help make this goal possible. Our broad range of services include:
Coordination of care & management for chronic diseases
We tailor management plans that coordinate treatment and medication use for chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, chronic bronchitis or obstructive pulmonary disease, memory problems, arthritis, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and other conditions that can affect strength, mobility, and cognitive function. Our doctors tailor treatment plans with a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates coordination of care with families, other caregivers, specialists, and supportive medical services.
Medication management & coordination for complex medication conditions
Many seniors are on multiple medications. This “polypharmacy” increases the risk of side effects that can affect cognitive function, gastrointestinal health, and risk for falls. That’s why our PCPs regularly review your medications (including over-the-counter medications and supplements), monitor their effectiveness, and check for interactions and side effects. We also work with a dedicated pharmacy team that helps ensure that your prescriptions are refilled in an appropriate and timely manner, and that works with patients to address issues such as cost or access to medications.
Medicare wellness visits
Wellness visits are important to monitor overall health and chronic conditions, as well as to prevent future problems. During these visits, our PCPs assess blood pressure and other vital signs, review your medications, offer nutrition counseling, order appropriate screening tests and immunizations.
At Saint John’s Physician Partners, our goal is to help you maintain or improve your quality of life by helping you take care of your health, no matter what age you are.
Preventive and Wellness Care Overview
At Saint John’s Physician Partners our primary care doctors provide preventive and wellness care across all ages. We believe that preventing health problems before they occur is the best way to assure you or anyone in your family stay in the best of health. We often catch developing conditions when they’re most treatable by providing the latest screenings as well as the most up to date information on how to stay well. Our services and screenings include:
Well child checks
Seeing the doctor with regular appointments is the best way to prevent health problems before they occur. It’s also allows your doctor to monitor your child’s growth and development.
This helps determine whether it’s safe for your child to participate in certain sports.
Regardless of your age, an annual physical, is the best way to assess your health status as well as identify and treat health issues before they get worse. It should be part of your wellness plan.
Usually required by employers, employment physicals gives you and your employer the confidence that you can do the job required for employment.
Well woman checks
These visits focus on preventative care and screenings such as Pap tests and breast exams.
Screenings for multiple conditions
Our doctors will recommend screenings and counseling that are relevant to you, based on your age, gender and medical and family history.
Getting age appropriate immunizations are critical to maintain the best of health. These include yearly flu shots, routine childhood immunizations and adult immunizations.
If you’re planning on traveling overseas, it’s best to know how to protect yourself against common diseases that may disrupt your trip and less common diseases that can be serious or prove fatal. This includes getting the proper immunizations specific to where you’re traveling.
Evaluation and Treatment of Acute Illness and Injury Overview
Acute illness and injury occur unexpectedly and with rapidly developing symptoms. Most are often limited in duration such as the flu or a cut that needs stitching. At our three offices, we typically treat conditions such as:
- Respiratory infections, including colds, flu, sinusitis, ear infections, and lung infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis
- Gastrointestinal illness, including stomach flu, food poisoning, colitis, diverticulitis, constipation and diarrhea
- Urinary tract infections
- Injuries, such as minor lacerations, sprains and strains, and overuse injuries.
When you feel sick or injure yourself and it’s time to see the doctor, Saint John’s Physician Partners primary care doctors are here for you. We’ll diagnose and treat you, or your family, to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Management of Chronic Conditions Overview
Chronic conditions are those that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention; these chronic conditions often limit the activities of daily living. At Saint John’s Physician Partners, our primary care physicians (PCPs) play an important role in managing chronic conditions and coordinating proper treatments. We understand that when you have chronic conditions, you can feel overwhelmed. Having one person who is central to your health care makes it easier for you for you to get the treatments and services you need when you need them. For conditions requiring additional care, we tap into an extensive network of affiliated specialists and services, and make whatever referrals are appropriate. We also encourage family members to help in managing chronic conditions since we know that a family approach often means better compliance as well as more effective and long-term health benefits. Our team will work with you, and your family, to help you manage chronic conditions such as:
Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. We can help you design a treatment plan that will let you live a more healthy life with diabetes.
High blood pressure (hypertension)
This dangerous condition can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure or kidney disease. Our goal is to effectively manage hypertension to lower blood pressure and protect important organs.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes. If you have abnormal levels of LDL or HDL, we can help design a treatment plan that may include low-fat diet, exercise and medications such as statins.
Being overweight an increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes, fatty liver disease and other health conditions. If you’re struggling with losing weight, we can help you get back on track to a healthier you.
Headaches & other neurologic conditions
Headaches are among the most common neurologic conditions. Some types of headaches, like migraines can significantly impact your quality of life and may be linked to other health conditions. We can help provide a range of treatments, including drug therapy, biofeedback training, stress reductions, elimination of certain foods in your diet
Our goal is to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal. Treatments options may include anti-thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, beta-blockers or surgical removal of your thyroid.
At Saint John’s Physician Partners, our goal is to help you manage chronic conditions and keep you as healthy and independent as we can.
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Overview
When you injure yourself doing your favorite sport, suffer a strain or a sprain, have joint pain and arthritis, Saint John’s Physician Partners can evaluate and treat your injury. While orthopedics is the medical specialty that focuses on the musculoskeletal aspect of your body, our primary care physicians (PCPs) have a more global view of your health and how it can impact your performance and recovery from injuries or diseases. Our services include:
If you’re starting a new exercise routine or sport, seeing your PCP is an important step in staying healthy. Sports physicals can catch potential health problems that may not be immediately visible but can be aggravated by sports activity. Making sure that you or your family member is healthy enough to participate in a sport of your choice is a smart choice. We focus on all aspects of an athlete’s performance including: Nutrition, Medical problems that interfere with oxygen intake such as asthma, Muscle conditioning, Injuries related to excessive training, Rehabilitation after injury or illness
Evaluation and treatment of sports injuries
We see and treat many sports injuries from strains and sprains to fractures, rotator cuff issues, head injuries or concussions.
Joint pain and arthritis
If you have joint pain and think it might be arthritis, your PCP can help diagnose and manage your condition. This may mean prescriptions for anti-inflammatory pain medications and referral to a physical therapist. We can also refer you to an orthopedist or a rheumatologist if appropriate.
Most sports injuries can be treated non-surgically, but for more serious injuries or diseases we can refer you to other experts: As part of an extensive network of affiliated orthopedists, surgeons, rheumatologists and physical therapists, we work as a team to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Travel Medicine Overview
When you’re planning an overseas trip, whether it’s for work or pleasure, the last thing you need is to worry about your health. Careful advance planning can help you reduce the risk of travel-related health problems.
At Saint John’s Physician Partners, we offer personalized travel consults to assist you with this process. Ideally, travel consults are scheduled 6-8 weeks prior to departure, and include:
- A review of your individual medical history and travel itinerary
- Comprehensive, up-to-date information regarding specific health concerns you may encounter
- Recommendations and administration of immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases specific to your travel destination (such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, etc.)
- Malaria risk assessment
- Prescriptions for travel-related medications.
Not all SJPP offices and physicians offer travel consultations. Check with your doctor’s office before scheduling an appointment. Please note that these services may not be covered by insurance; call your insurance company to check covered benefits.