The 4 Main Reasons Why You Should Have a Primary Care Physician

If you are in good health, you don't need medication. You also don't need to see a physician. So, it's most likely that you have no thought about having a primary care physician. However, you may wake up feeling unwell. At such a time, you need a physician who can examine you, treat you, and refer you to a specialist if needed. In other words, you need a primary care provider.

Who Is a Primary Care Physician?

Currently, there are about 209,000 practicing primary care physicians (PCPs) in the US. They take different forms, such as pediatricians, family physicians, or internal medicine physicians. They treat common ailments, including urinary infections, headaches, respiratory infections, and back pain.

Further, they manage chronic conditions, such as depression, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. PCPs are highly trained to address the entire person while considering their beliefs, values, and preferences.

Why Should You Have a Primary Care Physician?

It's advisable to have a primary care provider whom you can urgently reach out to when unwell. If you get a good PCP, they can serve you and your family for decades. With such a long-term relationship, the PCP gets to know you better, allowing for optimal management of your health.

Here are the four main reasons why you need a primary care provider:

  1. Health Monitoring — A PCP does not only treat you when you are sick. They are also always there to make sure you remain healthy. You can regularly visit their clinics for checkups, health education, and monitoring of chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes.
  2. Management of Chronic Illnesses — Chronic illnesses are the leading causes of death in the US. However, if properly managed, you can live with them for a long time. If you have hypertension, for instance, you need to visit a PCP regularly. This helps to keep these conditions under control.
  3. Establishing a Medical Home — What is a medical home? It means having a physician whom you can turn to when sick. Your physician follows your health over the years and can detect abnormalities on time. Also, they monitor different treatment plans to see what works and what doesn't work.
  4. Access to Specialists — If you have a medical complication, finding the right specialist can be a challenge. However, primary care providers can easily connect you with one. They have access to a wide variety of specialists, such as neurologists, urologists, and oncologists.

The Bottom Line

Apart from treating common medical conditions, a primary care physician also provides preventive care, makes referrals to specialists, and teaches healthy lifestyles. Having a PCP is essential to help you prevent illness and manage chronic diseases.