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The Importance of a Primary Care Physician

why having a primary care physician (PCP) is so important

When you have an injury, fever or illness but it’s not an emergency, where do you go?

If you don’t have a primary care physician your options include either urgent care centers or retail health clinics. While these are good options, they might not be the best choice for you and your family. Primary care physicians provide benefits that can have a positive effect on your health.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “A primary care physician is a specialist in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or Pediatrics who provides definitive care to the undifferentiated patient at the point of first contact, and takes continuing responsibility for providing the patient's comprehensive care.”

Your primary care physician will be aware of your complete medical history at every visit. This eliminates the need to repeat past symptoms or family health history to every new doctor. The doctor is knowledgeable about which treatment and care plan will work best as they are familiar with how your body is likely to respond.

Seeing a primary care physician regularly also involves going for routine checkups. This is essential for prevention and for diagnosing chronic disease and other health concerns early. Primary care physicians are often the first to see signs of mental illness, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions. They can help identify and modify risk factors that could eventually lead to a chronic condition.

According to Primary Care Progress, “…people who have a primary care provider save 33 percent on healthcare over their peers…” Spending money on a primary care physician now will prevent expensive urgent care visits in the future.

Talk to your insurance provider to find a primary care physician that is right for you.

Written by: Ashlyn Rhyne, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.

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