There are some people who feel that it is unimportant to utilize a primary care physician (PCP). Those who are still relatively young or don’t get sick often may not feel the need. Others may rely on modern conveniences like urgent care, specialists that do not require a physician referral, or, yes, even the internet to cure any problem.
Talk to those patients with a good PCP, however, and you’ll see that a primary care physician is still a key in maintaining optimal health. The reasons for this are varied, but what it boils down to is “continuity of care.”
Continuity of care
Continuity of care refers to the quality of healthcare you receive from a provider over a period of time, one built on relationships and understanding. And, over the long-term, studies prove that patients who utilize a PCP actually enjoy a better quality of healthcare.
It is a primary care physician’s job to get know each patient as a whole. In other words, a PCP learns what makes you tick, your health habits, and personal and family history. A good PCP also builds a long-term relationship built on communication and trust, and, the better your doctor knows you, the more effectively he or she is able to treat you.
That factor increases exponentially if you visit your PCP for regular physicals and age-appropriate screenings – most of which are covered at no cost to the patient – as he or she will be able to recognize signs of a potential health change.
Thanks to their relationships within the medical community, a good PCP is also the best point-person should you require a specialist. Your PCP will not only recommend the specialist that best fits your healthcare condition, but also the one that best fits your personality. It’s one thing to go to urgent care for a bad fever or sore throat, but it’s quite another to self-diagnose a health issue and call up a specialist for an appointment. What if your diagnosis is completely wrong?
Find a provider near you
That is why choosing a PCP – and the PCP that suits you best – is one of the best things you can do to help ensure optimal health. Longstreet Clinic is proud to offer a full range of expert primary care providers, from family medicine to pediatrics and internal medicine across a number of locations in northeast Georgia.