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10 Reasons You Should Have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) – Part 2

Jan 18, 2017

We’re picking up right where we left off last week and showing you 5 more reasons you should have a primary care physician (PCP) that you visit regularly. After all, it really is the best thing you can do for your overall health.

Routine Screenings

Taking your blood pressure at every appointment might seem like a task but screenings like these hold great importance when it comes to your health. Undergoing routine testing on a regular basis helps catch symptoms before they get worse or lead to debilitating health issues. As part of the Patient Centered Medical Home initiative, our doctors and staff also screen for tobacco use and depression at every visit – two health considerations that can have a life changing impact on your overall health.

Catch Health Issues Early

While routine screenings may find certain symptoms of health issues before they become larger problems, your primary care doctor also knows you well enough to ask the right questions and detect other health issues in their early stages.

Referrals to Other Medical Specialists

Do you need a referral to see an ENT or Cardiologist? Start with an appointment with your primary care doctor. Or do you have pain in your wrist, and you’re not quite sure what king of specialist you need – an orthopedist, a neurologist, a vascular specialist or someone else?

Your regular doctor has the expertise to ask you the right questions and do the appropriate exam to determine what the most likely cause is and effectively get you straight to the correct specialist. In addition, your PCP can order lab test or imaging so that the specialist have all the information at their fingertips when do you see them.

Decrease in Hospital and ER Visits

Research shows that patients who regularly visit their primary care physicians have fewer hospitalizations and emergency visits than those who do not utilize primary care doctors. Waiting too long to see a doctor or ignoring symptoms can lead to a hospitalization or an ER Visit, two of the most expensive and overwhelming outcomes for patients.

Better Patient-Provider Communication

Communication is a two-way street, especially when it comes to your health. Communicating your health wants, needs and concerns are crucial for your doctor to address your health appropriately. Likewise, your primary care doctor should also feel comfortable holding honest conversations with you regarding his or her concerns and thoughts about your health.

St. Bernards First Care Has a Primary Doctor for You!

If you or a loved one are looking for a primary care doctor, look no further than Search by doctor’s name or clinic name to find the best fit for you. Or call St. Bernards Healthline at 870-207-7300 and we’ll help you find a primary care doctor.

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: