The Biggest Secret for Better Health: Your Doctor

June 03, 2014

You wouldn’t dream of changing hairstylists, and you get your morning coffee from the same café every day. But do you have the same loyalty to your most important service provider — your doctor?

Primary Care Doctors Coordinate Your Care Having a regular primary care physician (PCP) or family doctor can improve your health and your medical care experience. You’re likely to see this doctor first when you need a checkup or have minor symptoms or complaints. However, he or she does more than ease your sniffles and take your blood pressure. A PCP’s responsibility is to:

Help you make health care decisions Treat minor problems before they become more serious Provide preventive care to help keep you well Refer you when you need to see a specialist Manage chronic conditions Keep track of your medical records and health history

Reap the Benefits of Regular Visits

Your PCP may not give you a frequent shopper card for stopping by. But studies show that patients who see the same primary doctor regularly get the following perks:

Higher satisfaction with their health care More coordinated care A stronger doctor-patient relationship Lower costs You’ll also have better health in the long run. Your family or primary care doctor is trained to care for you through all the phases of life. Even if you see specialists for certain conditions, you should still have a PCP for your general health care needs. He or she will help you get the tests you need for your age and risk profile.