Do you have a primary care physician? If the answer is yes, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for making a good and responsible decision. If the answer is no, think about why you don’t have a primary care doctor, and consider the reasons why you need one.
Some people don’t truly understand the benefit of having a primary care doctor. They figure that they hardly ever get sick, so there’s no need for a regular physician. If they do happen to feel under the weather, they will just thumb through a directory and pick the doctor with the coolest name, or the one with the nearest office. There are drawbacks to this method.
Primary care doctors do more than provide you with a resource when you fall ill. They help you live a healthier life and provide an invaluable source of information in the event that you get sick or find yourself in the hospital due to a serious medical condition or accident.
Here are some reasons why you need a primary care doctor.
- A primary care doctor knows you and your personal health history. The same can’t be said for randomly visited doctors with cool names. Having this information and rapport helps doctors make informed decisions based on your needs.
- They can schedule regular screenings and tests to detect cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer. You may think that you’re healthy because you’re never bedridden, but you may have bigger health problems than you realize.
- A doctor shouldn’t be reserved just for when you’re not feeling well. A primary care physician can encourage you to make healthy lifestyle choices that can help prevent illness. However should you get sick, they also provide care for you through illnesses and refer you to specialists if needed.
No one wants to end up in the hospital, but you especially don’t want to end up in the hospital without any knowledge of your health history. A primary care doctor keeps track of your health history and will be the doctor other doctors contact if you’re ever hospitalized.