For many people, finding a primary care physician (PCP) feels less important than finding a specialist, especially if you’re experiencing a chronic problem that you’re desperately looking to treat. However, a family doctor is essential for your general wellbeing. Today, I want to cover five reasons why you need a PCP.
Five Reasons Why It’s Important to Have a Primary Care Physician
Here are five (of many!) reasons why it’s important that you have a PCP whom you visit annually:
- You build a relationship with them: Unlike a specialist whom you may only see once or twice, a family doctor is someone who you see repeatedly, allowing you to feel more comfortable and making communication easier. Plus, thanks to this established foundation, they’re already aware of your family history and health concerns.
- They can treat many issues themselves: From a rash or conjunctivitis to depression or insomnia, a PCP can help. And for the problems they can’t handle? They know the right specialist for your treatment and will work collaboratively to ensure that you’re receiving the very best care. A family doctor takes a holistic approach to your health, making sure that everything is functioning just as it should.
- They also know when a specialist is needed: It can be overwhelming to try to figure out when an issue warrants a doctor’s visit, not to mention determining what type of doctor you should see. Luckily, your PCP can help! They can even provide you with a referral letter if needed (something often required by insurance).
- You stay up-to-date on health screenings: It’s hard to remember to schedule your annual skin check, your pap smear, your mammogram…the list goes on! Fortunately, your family doctor will ask for your last appointment dates and remind you to get them scheduled if needed. Research shows that, when you’re up-to-date on your recommended health screenings, your health care costs go down. Additionally, your PCP often catches health concerns more quickly than if you were visiting multiple specialists instead.
- You spend less time in the emergency room: Instead of visiting the emergency room (ER) every time you get sick or encounter a health-related problem, turn to your PCP. Most family doctors keep times open each day for sick patients, making it easy to snag a last-minute appointment. Fewer trips to the ER equates more time and more money for you.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to take care of your health, it’s important to start now! To find a new family doctor, ask your friends and family for recommendations or check out online reviews. Once you find a good match, be sure that they accept your health insurance. Call today to schedule an appointment for early 2022!