You’re young, busy, and in good health. That’s great, but it
probably means that if you don’t already have a primary care provider,
selecting one isn’t at the top of your to-do list.
Maybe you’re in your 40s or 50s, and in good health without a chronic
condition or injury. Visits to a walk-in clinic when you need your flu
shot or have a sinus infection are all you need, right?
If you’re 60 or older, chances are you’ve begun to see specialists
for any of your health conditions. Won’t those doctors talk to each
other and keep tabs on your overall health?
No matter your age or health status, you need a primary care provider.
Having a go-to physician who knows you well leads to a healthier, longer
life; all while spending less money on healthcare overall.
Need more convincing? Here are the top 10 reasons you should have a primary
Your primary care doctor gets to know you. They understand what’s
normal for you and what isn’t, and notice when you report new concerns.
Your primary care team will review all your symptoms to determine what
care is needed and whether you should see a specialist.
A primary care provider’s goal is to deliver the care that’s
right for you, not employ a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailored healthcare
is easier when you have an ongoing relationship with your provider.
Continuity of Care
Knowing your name and Medical Record Number is one thing, but knowing
the details of your health and wellness is another. The knowledge your
primary care team builds from seeing you regularly helps them personalize
Without an ongoing relationship with a provider, you’ll be spending
time explaining your medical history to someone new every time. That’s
time you could be spending doing other things.
Coordination of Care
It’s your primary care provider’s job to organize information
among all of your healthcare providers, making sure there is no duplication
of testing, prescriptions, etc. By organizing this information, you’ll
save money, time, and energy throughout the healthcare process.
Better Health Management
If you have ongoing health concerns, your primary care provider can help
manage those concerns and improve your quality of life. They’ll
provide information about diet, exercise, and other health trends and
they will have a better overall understanding of your health issues and
Preventive Care & Screenings
Guidelines for when to have screening procedures (mammogram, colonoscopy,
etc.) can change frequently. Your primary care provider will keep track
of those changes and let you know when you’re due for screening exams.
When did you last have a tetanus shot? If you have a primary care provider,
they know the answer to that question.
Your primary care provider will review immunization records and help you
stay on schedule with vaccines and boosters.
Your primary care team can read and interpret x-rays, blood tests, and
urinalysis, answering questions in context as they relate to your specific
circumstances. Have an uncomfortable topic you want to discuss? Chances
are you’ll be more relaxed talking to someone you see regularly.
Primary care providers assist in keeping track of all your medications
to make sure there are no adverse interactions or side effects.
Regular follow-ups with your primary care provider after a surgery or
Emergency trip to the hospital can prevent complications and reduces your
chances of returning to the hospital for the same health issues.
Studies show people who regularly see a primary care provider live longer,
Don’t have a primary care provider? Call 240-215-6310 and a navigator
will help you find a provider that’s right for you.