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Hepatitis C in Primary Care

Hepatitis C in Primary Care

According to numerous comments and conversations with people, it has become abundantly clear to me and others that knowledge about hep C is weak in primary care settings. Often, the patient has a better understanding than your primary care provider (PCP) does. This can present some challenging dynamics that far too often lead to problems for people.

Providers should understand all aspects of hep C

Some general practitioners are well-informed, but what I hear is that they are not, on the whole, well-informed about hep C and the treatment, not to mention what some of us see as good after-care (post-treatment). This presents challenges for people who are dealing with any number of health issues after treatment that may be connected to living with hep C.

There is also another common question or concern we hear: Is the provider well-informed about test results or what treatment advances there has been in recent years. By no means are we satisfied – there is room for improvements in provider knowledge of hep C, for sure.

Some providers are better than others

This doesn’t mean that you have or don’t have the best possible care with your own provider, because we know that some people do have very well-informed primary care. I can honestly say that my own has been very good. My provider understood their own limitations when it came to hep C and did not pass any judgments on me in any way. The stories I have heard from others vary, but in general, it has been clear to me that some providers are not helpful or kind.

We all deserve proper care

One can argue what the role of primary care is and that we are not seeking friendship at any doctor’s office, but we are seeking unbiased and informed care that does not include any judgment about how we got hep C or the cost of treatment and our interests. It is, in this setting, all about our needs for care. This is something all of us deserve, if we present with diabetes or hep C, or any other condition that needs medical expertise and help.
If a care provider is not able or willing to provide the appropriate care, they should refer us to someone who can; I see this as an obligation and ethical issue. There is no room for “faking it” with our health, regardless of our insurance or wealth.

Is your provider up to the job?

A good provider will know what the best course of action is, and that is what we rely upon as their patient. If your provider is lacking in the skills I have mentioned, I suggest it may be in your best interest to seek out one who does.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.