Many people believe they only need a doctor when they are sick. However, having a primary care physician may be your key to staying healthy.
An important responsibility of a primary care physician is providing preventative care. Think of your primary care physician as your wellness coach, who will protect your health through regular checkups, and will make sure you get the screenings you need to identify any concerns as early as possible.
There are many reasons you should have a primary care physician. They include:
Continuity of Care/Holistic Care – A primary care physician can treat the whole person, which takes into account your history, family history, and any existing conditions you may have.
Care Coordinator/Central Point of Contact – A primary care physician will insure that your care and health information is coordinated between your other physicians and specialists. This will insure that you are not having any duplication of care, and also communicate important health information to your care team.
Valuable and trusted resource – Whenever you have a health question or concern, your primary care physician should be your first call. He or she may need to refer you to other specialists, or help you find other resources to help with your care, but again, serving as your care coordinator, your primary care physician is the best person to initiate your care.
Routine screenings – Whether it is taking your blood pressure, ordering regular, routine lab tests, or making sure you are getting regular mammograms, colonoscopies, or other important screenings, your primary care physician should be recommending all necessary routine screenings to you. Follow up when your doctor orders tests and screenings. This will enable your primary care physician to catch any serious health issues early, when they are most treatable.
Keeping you out of the Emergency Room – Many people who do not have a primary care physician use the emergency room when they get sick. Your primary care physician can offer options that can help prevent your potentially unnecessary trips to the ER. This may include same-day and walk-in appointments, which may eliminate the need for an unnecessary, and more costly ER visit. While the emergency room cannot replace a good relationship with a primary care physician, when emergency care is needed, your primary care physician will certainly refer you for that higher level of care.
Editor’s Note: Please call 239-348-4221 or visit PhysiciansRegionalMedicalGroup.com to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician.