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10 Reasons You Should Have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) – Part 1

Jan 11, 2017

Over the next two weeks we’re going to show you 10 reasons you should have a primary care physician (PCP). All of these reasons for making that appointment are quite compelling on their own but when you look at them altogether, you can’t deny that visiting your doctor on a regular basis is really the best thing you can do for your health. So go ahead and make that appointment, but before you do, check out our first 5 reasons why a primary care physician is a must.

Comprehensive Health Care

Where should you go if you develop a cough, if you’re feeling anxious and depressed or if you are curious about a certain vaccine? The answer: your primary care doctor! Your primary care doctor focuses on comprehensive health care, meaning he or she is trained in treating a little bit of everything and coordinates patient health care in one central location. With a primary care doctor, you only need to make one appointment to discuss a variety of health issues you might be experiencing, whether they are physical, emotional or mental.

Better Management of Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, gout, anxiety, to list a few examples, should be managed by your primary care physician. Scheduling regular visits with your doctor lets you and your doctor together make sure that your chronic conditions are stable. Regular check-ins also give your doctor the opportunity to keep you up to date on the most current information and treatment pertaining to your individual health, so that together you can make a plan to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Higher Level of Comfort

Most people don’t love talking to strangers, especially about their health care needs and concerns. Choosing a primary care doctor you trust is the first step. The next step is scheduling regular appointments with your doctor so that you can discuss your concerns and overall health. Are you wondering what options you might have for your knee pain? Curious about whether bariatric surgery is something you should consider? Start by talking it over with your primary care provider.

In addition, researchers at the Journal of Health Affairs found that patients with primary care doctors reported higher levels of satisfaction than patients without primary care doctors. The more you visit a doctor you trust, the better your relationship with him or her and the better your care.

Transparency of Entire Health History

Routine visits with your primary care provider not only help with your comfort level but they also build on your health history. Knowledge of your health history, as well as your family health history, is imperative for prevention of diseases and also helps your doctor catch early symptoms of serious conditions. 

Lower Overall Health Costs

Attending regular appointments with your primary doctor might seem tedious and like a waste of money at times but research from the Journal of Health Affairs suggests that routine appointments with a primary care doctor cut overall health costs for patients. Regular screenings, open communication between you and your doctor and a record of your health history all contribute to an overall lower cost of health care.

Stay tuned, next week we’ll be showing you 5 more reasons to get that appointment scheduled with a PCP.

This article was written by Unity Point Health but tweaked for St. Bernards by Dr. Joy Skaug, a primary care physician with St. Bernards First Care – Parker Road. She earned her medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed a residency in Family Medicine at the UAMS – Northeast here in Jonesboro. Dr. Skaug is Board Certified in Family Medicine. To learn more about her, click here: