Your Location: Set Your Location
See services nearest you.
Essentia Health Menu
Home > Services & Specialties > Primary Care > Family Medicine
Count on the family medicine doctors at Essentia Health for compassionate and comprehensive medical care for your whole family.
A family medicine doctor, sometimes called a family practice doctor, provides comprehensive health care to people of all ages.
Depend on your family doctor for routine care, including:
Turn to your family doctor for diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses and injuries, including:
Partner with your family doctor to manage long-lasting conditions, including:
If you’re pregnant or plan to get pregnant, learn about our family medicine with OB (obstetrics) doctors who provide prenatal care and deliver babies.
View video transcript Listen to audio description (MP3)
(DESCRIPTION)A gradient blue background featuring the Essentia logo several times is displayed, with the text, Medical Insight.
(SPEECH)SPEAKER: Welcome to "Medical Insight," a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. Here's your host, Maureen Talarico.
(DESCRIPTION)The host, Maureen Talarico, speaks to the camera. She wears a black shirt, with black over jacket.
(SPEECH)MAUREEN TALARICO: Today on "Medical Insight," we talk with Dr. Stephen Carlson, a family medicine physician at the West Duluth Clinic about shingles.
(DESCRIPTION)Dr. Stephen Carlson, M. D. , family medicine, speaks to the camera from a patient examination room. He wears a yellow shirt, with a light blue doctor coat.
(SPEECH)STEPHEN CARLSON: Shingles is a reactivation of a virus infection in our body. Those of us who had chickenpox when we were younger have the virus living in our system all the time. It usually starts off as a change in sensation in that skin area and then develops into a rash, which is blistered, and then forms a scab.
(DESCRIPTION)Dr. Carlson points to a photographic example of the rash on a nearby computer screen.
(SPEECH)And then the pain can last for a long time. MAUREEN TALARICO: Early identification is key to treating shingles, says Dr. Carlson. STEPHEN CARLSON: Shingles is an infection that is treatable early. So the earlier somebody can be suspicious that they might have shingles, ideally less than 48 hours into the symptoms, that's the best time to contact some sort of a provider so that there are some medicines that can be given to decrease the impact of the shingles in a person's body. MAUREEN TALARICO: Dr. Carlson explains how vaccinations reduce the risk of developing shingles. STEPHEN CARLSON: The kids now who have been given the chickenpox vaccine won't get shingles. Those people who had chickenpox, we recommend that they get the vaccine to prevent them from getting shingles in the future. The new vaccine that's going to be coming on the market this spring is called Shingrix, and it's a vaccine that has two shots that are of the sequence to try and help it develop that immunity. And so we're recommending that for people who are over the age of 50.
(DESCRIPTION)Dr. Carlson walks with a woman down a hallway, animating with his hands as he speaks.
(SPEECH)MAUREEN TALARICO: Talk to your doctor to see if the shingles vaccine is right for you. For "Medical Insight," I'm Maureen Talarico. SPEAKER: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 786-3107.
(DESCRIPTION)Text, Medical Insight. Phone number, 218-786-3107. Website, essentia health dot org. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Here with you.