According to Self, you should see your primary care doctor at least once a year. However, many adults slack on this health checkup for a variety of reasons. Changes in insurance coverage and busy schedules can make it difficult to maintain consistent care. The fact remains that having a dedicated primary care physician (PCP) is the best way to prevent debilitating illness and help you save money, too.
What Is a PCP?
PCPs are doctors who help manage your health for the long haul. They may be labeled as primary care doctors, internal medicine doctors, or family doctors. They provide annual checkups for you and your family. In fact, if the doctor practices long enough, they may take care of your children’s children, too.
Primary care physicians will keep track of you and your family’s medical history, monitor your current health, and get to know you on a personal level. The benefits that this offers go beyond improving your health. It also helps you save money on medical visits and build a deeper relationship with a healthcare provider who understands you and your lifestyle.
One of the biggest benefits of seeing a primary care physician is that they can catch small things that may turn into bigger problems down the line. A PCP will screen you for serious maladies like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Since they understand your medical history, they can be on the lookout for potential illnesses that may afflict you. This only gets better the longer you see them.
Fulcrum of Care
Primary care physicians are the fulcrum of your healthcare. If an issue comes up that requires a specialist, they will be able to refer you to someone who works with your insurance and knows how to treat you. They will be able to share your medical history with the specialist to cut down on time spent in the doctor’s office. They will also be able to work any tests, diagnoses, or treatment into their own records of your medical history.
They will also help you manage these visits and any prescriptions you get. As you age, you will likely be prescribed multiple medications to help treat chronic, degenerative, and acute conditions. It can be difficult to keep track of what needs to be taken, and when. A PCP works in the center of your healthcare management and can help you keep track of everything you need to live a fulfilling life.
Lower Medical Costs
An additional benefit of a PCP’s preventative treatment is that you will be less likely to be hospitalized or suffer from a severe illness or injury that racks up medical bills. As stated above, primary care doctors can catch small problems and keep them from becoming large ones. Disease screenings will catch problems early when treatment is simplest, most affordable, and likely most effective. If you want to avoid building up medical bills from hospitals and insurance companies, you should see a primary care doctor regularly.
In the event you are hospitalized, you will need an advocate to keep tabs on the physicians in the hospital and keep you up to date. Hospitals are busy places and you are just one of several patients a medical team will be keeping tabs on. It can be easy for healthcare providers to fall behind on updating patients about their condition while they are running around from room to room, probably on insufficient sleep. It will be difficult for you to keep tabs on them yourself while you are convalescing in a hospital bed. While family members can help, it can be difficult for them to navigate the hospital system if they are not a medical professional, themselves.
A PCP can be an invaluable resource in this instance. If you connect them with the physicians treating you in the hospital, they will be able to advocate for you and keep you and your family up to date on what’s going on. They can help explain diagnoses and treatments that may be over your head and generally lower your stress levels by being the eye in the sky watching over you and the hospital medical team.
Primary care doctors are the foundation of your healthcare. The relationship you build with them is a unique one in the medical field. It’s likely that no other doctor will get to know you as well as your primary care physician. If you need a PCP, contact our expert team at Care Station Medical Group. We provide a full host of medical services that will help you live a healthier and fuller life. Call today to schedule an appointment or visit our website for more information!