Do you need a primary care physician?

Published on May 20, 2016

Regardless if you are young and healthy or are currently managing several health conditions, the answer to the question, "Do you need a primary care physician?" is yes.

Primary care physicians can keep you healthy as you age, provide continuity of care and can be the gate keeper for your medical history. Ideally, you develop a relationship with a health care provider that will be enhanced year after year. This provider knows your health and your health goals, and can help you manage that progress or refer you to a specialist that can help you with your goals.

What do primary care physicians do?

When you have a primary care physician, they can help manage long term care for the duration of your illness. They gain valuable information over a period of time that can help them make the smartest medical decisions for your health condition, providing a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

A primary care physician can refer you to specialists they have worked with in the past and have a good relationship with, ensuring your care is coordinated. A specialist doesn’t know your medical history and your primary care doctor can provide that to them. When you have conflicting information from different specialists, your primary care physician can help you sort through the information and provide suggestions. 

When you establish a relationship with a primary care physician, they can provide you faster treatment options should you get sick in the future. Knowing your medical history, your primary care physician may be able to resolve minor illnesses over the phone or email. 

Regardless of age, medical plan or medical history, a primary care physician is key in maintaining and improving your health.  Getting yearly preventive physicals with your primary care physician can keep you in good health and prevent chronic illness down the line. 

Do you need help finding a primary care physician? 

Search for one using our Find a Doctor tool

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.