You’re busy, you’re relatively healthy and you’re not even sure how one goes about getting a primary care doctor. So do you really need one? In short, yes.
Your primary care physician can not only help when you’re under the weather, they can also help to keep you healthy the rest of the time. Check out these six reasons you should be seeing a primary care physician and find a primary care physician near you.
- You can ask anything
Your primary care doctor can help you work though a range of issues. Dealing with a persistent cough, feeling anxious or suffering from acid reflux? A visit to your primary care doctor can be your opportunity to ask about all the above. Your primary care doctor is trained in treating a wide variety of symptoms and can also help you coordinate care should you need to see a specialist.
- You can get help managing your chronic care
If you’re dealing with diabetes, arthritis, migraines or other chronic conditions, your primary care doctor can help you keep track of all the care you need. Your doctor can help you manage your medications, identify emerging treatment options and perform routine tests to make sure you’re staying on track.
- You can get comfortable
Talking about your body and health can feel uncomfortable at times, but your primary care doctor will get to know you personally and can help to break down any barriers to having an open, honest conversion about your healthcare.
- You can establish a medical history
Your primary care physician will also get to know your medical history to establish a base line for your care. If you’ve ever experienced that moment when you feel like you’re not explaining your symptoms well enough or you’re not sure if something is normal for you, your primary care doctor can help by knowing your medical history and understanding your specific needs.
- You can catch small Issues early
Your primary care physician can help to flag small issues through routine screenings and targeted questions to help prevent any health concerns from developing into larger problems. This can also help to lower your overall cost of healthcare as waiting too long or ignoring symptoms can lead to ER visits, hospitalization or extensive specialty care. Recent studies shows that those who have a primary care doctor save 33% on healthcare over their peers who only see specialists.
- You can trust your course of treatment
Your primary care doctor may be able to help prevent any unnecessary or harmful treatments or medication. Because your primary care physician understands your medical history and your body, he or she can help you avoid unneeded testing or a course of treatment that won’t be the right fit for you. A primary care doctor can even flag medications that could be potentially harmful depending on your current prescriptions, specific needs or medical history.
Who Can Be Your Primary Care Physician?
Your primary care physician can be from a wide range of backgrounds. Below are a few common types of practices that may offer a primary care physician depending on your needs.
- Family Medicine Physician
Family medicine physicians can care for patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. You can think of them as working with the family unit as opposed to a unit of the body. Family medicine physicians can provide preventative care including routine checkups, immunization and health screenings. They can also manage a variety of chronic care and can help you coordinate care with a specialist should you need one.
- Internal Medicine Physician
Internal medicine physicians focus primarily on adult patients and may have significant experience with internal medical subspecialties such as rheumatology, endocrinology and neurology. Internal medicine training occurs in both outpatient and inpatient settings, which allows an internal medicine physician to manage a wide range of complex adult healthcare considerations.
- Pediatrics Physician
Pediatricians specialize in the mental, physical and social health of newborns, infants, children and adolescents. A pediatrician may have a relationship and a knowledge of medical history of a child from birth into adulthood.
Altogether, finding a primary care physician who is right for you and your family can help you be the healthiest, best version of yourself. A primary care physician at Ochsner also means that you have an electronic medical record accessible wherever you go in the Ochsner network, from primary care, to specialists, to urgent cares and ERs, ensuring the best care and coordination for you.
Are you looking for a primary care doctor? Schedule an appointment online with Dr. Ashley Ingolia.