Believe it or not, research shows that people who have a primary care doctor actually live longer. They are less likely to die from cancer, heart disease, stroke and many other illnesses. The reason is simple: over time, you and your doctor form a relationship. You get to know each other, which leads to better medical care by catching small health problems before they become serious.
Here are six other benefits to building a relationship with a primary care physician:
- One-Stop Shopping. A primary care doctor knows how to deal with everything from helping you through a bout with the flu to back pain and digestion issues, to uncovering serious illnesses like cancer and heart disease. They can treat almost anything. If not, they’ll get you to a doctor who can.
- Someone Who Knows All About You. Over time, your doctor will get to know you as person, not just your body. You’ll build trust and be able to talk about anything that’s bothering you physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s important as problems in any of these areas can impact your overall health.
- Coordination of Care. Your primary care doctor is the point person who helps you navigate the healthcare jungle. He or she:
- helps you find the best specialist if you need one.
- knows about all of the medicines and supplements you’re taking and look for possible interactions.
- orders the right tests and other diagnostics you need at each stage of your life.
- answers any questions you have regarding your care, no matter where you receive it, so you are clear on all of the details
- and much more.
- Keeps You Healthy. Your primary care doctor isn’t just interested in you when you’re sick. He or she wants to partner with you on a wellness and prevention plan too. Consider your primary care doctor your best source for information on things like weight management, smoking cessation, help with alcohol and drug use, and managing stress and anxiety.
- Routine Screenings. Your PCP will do or arrange for screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and more. It’s important to note that many serious illnesses are found during routine physicals. We’re talking the top three silent diseases that have no symptoms: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes. When these illnesses are left untreated they can have severe consequences. Also, many early stage cancers have no symptoms. Detecting cancer early gives you an edge for successful treatment and cure.
- Time Savings. If you establish yourself with a primary care doctor, it’s easier to get in for an appointment. At Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group we offer same or next day appointments for our patients who need to see us right away - helping you to avoid an urgent care visit and higher charge.
So, have we convinced you? Having a primary care physician you trust is one the most important things you can do for a lifetime of good health.
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