A primary care physician is, in many ways, the gateway to a healthy life. Your primary care physician (PCP) can be a resource for everything from annual physicals to answering questions and steering you toward trusted specialists when needed. But a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that a growing number of people, particularly on the younger side, don’t have a PCP relationship.
The study found that 45 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 28 percent of 30- to 40-year-olds did not have a primary care provider. The situation improves as people get older, with 18 percent of people age 50 to 64 and 12 percent of those 65 and older foregoing a PCP.
Another study shows that, regardless of age, people are visiting primary care physicians less frequently. Office visits to PCPs dropped 18 percent between 2012 and 2016.
5 Reasons You Should Have a Primary Care Doctor
At Balance Hormone Center, we believe a primary care provider relationship makes a big, positive difference in your overall health. So we wanted to share five reasons why you should have a primary care doctor.
1. Holistic Health Care
You could think of your PCP as the hub in the middle of the wheel of health. He or she can treat many different conditions and coordinate your health care from one central location. Whether you have a physical, mental or emotional care need, your primary care doctor is the place to start. If you need a specialist in a certain health area, your PCP can connect you.
2. Higher Level of Comfort
It can be tough to talk to a stranger about your health. Building a relationship with a PCP through regular appointments means you have someone who gets to know you and your medical history. That makes it easier to talk openly about your needs as your health changes.
3. Cost Savings
Compared to visiting the emergency room or urgent care, visiting your PCP can save you some real money. Plus, regular screenings by a doctor who knows your health history can lead to earlier detection of potential issues, allowing you to confront them sooner and control financial costs while protecting your health.
4. Annual Physicals
Speaking of regular screenings, going to a PCP for your annual physical is one of the best values in all of medicine. Your PCP can catch symptoms before they worsen and lead to major issues. And because you see the same PCP regularly, he or she knows what kinds of questions to ask you and how to effectively communicate with you as an individual.
5. Better Management of Chronic Conditions
It is very difficult to self-care and self-monitor conditions like diabetes, lupus, and arthritis. A primary care physician helps you stay organized and on top of your care needs. Together you and your PCP can develop a long-term understanding of how your condition is affecting your body and mind, and adjust treatment as needed.
Looking for a Primary Care Physician?
Balance Hormone Center in Arizona is home to several trained primary care physicians, and we would love to build a relationship with you. If you’re looking for a new PCP or want to visit one for the first time (and you’re in or near Gilbert, AZ), we’re ready to meet you, too! You can arrange an appointment by contacting us online.