Why You Shouldn' Be Without A Primary Care Physician
For many people, primary care physicians are like members of the family. They are a reliable source of advice and care in our most vulnerable moments, making them a key part of a larger support network. If you don't currently have a primary care physician, it can be easy to overlook the many benefits that come from this important medical relationship. This is especially true if you have not been in the habit of regularly visiting a doctor since you were a child. Although it's easy to view routine check-ups as something to suffer through when you are young, these regular visits only become more important as we age.
Although the benefits of having a primary care physician could fill several books, here are three of the most important and often overlooked advantages.
One of the key benefits of having a primary care physician is developing a relationship over time. Not only will your physician learn about you and your unique medical needs, but you will gain the trust that is vital for any doctor-patient relationship. This relationship will allow you to play an active role in caring for your health that would not be possible with urgent care or emergency room doctors that you may see once and never again.
Over time, your physician will also be able to develop a detailed picture of your overall health which will allow her to more easily spot problems early on. This means that there will be less risk of being prescribed medications which do not work well for you or that you have had adverse reactions to, and a greater likelihood of receiving personalized care that you are comfortable with.
PCPs Are a Bridge to Specialists
Should you find yourself in need of a specialist, your primary care physician is potentially your best source of recommendations. Not only can your primary care physician provide a referral that may be required by your insurance, but they can also recommend specialists that they may already have a relationship with. Although this may seem minor, working with a specialist that has an established relationship with your primary care physician means that your personal doctor may be able to better follow up on your care and provide your specialist with a more detailed medical history.
You'll Spend Less Money
This may be surprising, but having a primary care physician can actually save you money over time. Studies have shown that people who receive regular check-ups from a primary care physician are less likely to visit emergency rooms or to require acute care. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. By using a trusted doctor to monitor and manage your health, you can deal with problems early and avoid costly visits for acute illnesses later on.