Even if you and your family are primarily healthy, it’s highly recommended that you check in with your trusted family medical center. Having a primary care provider for your family is one of the essential factors in ensuring that you have optimal health.
If you don’t have a go-to family primary care provider, you might be missing out on achieving optimal health. We’ll share below how important it is to have one and what the benefits are.
What is a Primary Care Provider?
Primary care health professionals specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a wide variety of health conditions.
These health specialists are usually your first point of contact when it comes to your general and health care needs. They mainly have a family or internal medicine background.
The Institute of Medicine defines it as:
The provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.
Primary Care is Essential
According to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information under the US National Library of Medicine, over 100,000 deaths in the United States could have been prevented if there were more primary care providers available.
Having a primary medical provider has a lot of significant benefits, such as:
Living and Staying Healthier
Regular visits to your care provider allow you to be on top of your and your family’s health. Since you’re checking in with your healthcare provider regularly, you can better manage chronic conditions. Your health provider can also help you create a customized health plan and achieve your health goals.
Being Familiar and Comfortable with Your Healthcare Provider
Talking about your health is a private and intimate topic. When you discuss your health issues and conditions with anyone, it must be with someone who knows you and your medical history. Having a go-to healthcare provider gives you tailor-made and not just general healthcare solutions.
More Affordable Costs
Prevention is better than cure. When you are regularly visiting your healthcare provider, you’re taking the necessary steps to maintain your health. This allows you to monitor your health and avoid any extreme medical situations that need a trip to the emergency room or urgent care facilities.
Regular check-ups also help avoid hospital visits that may need confinement or further intrusive, more expensive treatment methods.
Building Trust and Communication
With a trusted primary care provider, you’ll find it easier to discuss more private and intimate medical concerns. Trust and communication, which are essential in any patient-doctor relationships, are critical in achieving optimal health.
Additionally, you’ll have more confidence in your overall health; your primary care provider will know you better over time. He or she can help you make the best healthcare-related decisions based on your health history and goals.
While primary care providers or general practitioners can check your overall health, some specialists focus on a more distinct function of the body.
- Internal medicine doctors, or internists, check adults for any medical concerns.
- Gynecologists or obstetricians focus on checking and treating health conditions that affect women. They are usually the go-to primary care providers for women, especially those of childbearing age.
- Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced training and education in a more specialized area such as pediatrics or gynecology.
- Physician assistants are part of a doctor’s team. They are certified to do what doctors can do, but a doctor must supervise them.
Choosing the Right Provider for You
When selecting a primary healthcare provider, you should consider your personal needs.
Are the staff helpful and friendly? Do they return your calls? Does the doctor work with your health insurance plan?
You can always check the web for customer reviews and testimonials if you’re interested to see a primary care provider. Also, ask for recommendations from your family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.
Furthermore, you can ask your pharmacist or dentist for helpful information before you make a decision.
Aside from your spouse, children, or best friend, it’s your primary care provider who knows you best. Don’t forego this meaningful relationship you’ll have in your life.
Having a lasting and trusting relationship with your healthcare provider allows you to live a healthier, happier life.