NEW ORLEANS -- Let's be real. Right now, we're all feeling a little disconnected. In these times of self-isolation, our "normal" plans and routines aren't exactly the same.
But self-isolation doesn't have to mean a lack of self-care. In fact, our primary goal should be staying healthy. Building a relationship with a primary care provider is one way to attain this primary goal.
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Establishing care with a primary care doctor gives you comfort and consistency on several different levels. You should be able to trust your healthcare provider with your most private health issues or problems and should feel certain he or she is your partner.
Here are 5 key reasons why having a relationship with a Primary Care Provider should be your primary goal during quarantine.
It’s a one-stop-shop for healthcare
If you’re starting to feel cold symptoms, but also have questions about what vaccines you need or what to do when you feel anxious, you only need to make one doctor’s appointment to access a wide range of services.
Your primary care provider focuses on holistic health care, meaning your doctor is trained in treating a little bit of everything and coordinates your care in one central location.
They help spot health problems before they become serious
Taking your blood pressure at every appointment might seem like a task but undergoing testing on a regular basis helps catch symptoms before they get worse or lead to debilitating health issues.
This also means that you can start getting treatment earlier which could save you a trip to the hospital had it become a serious problem.
It’s the best way to manage existing health conditions
Existing health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, or high cholesterol can be difficult to manage on your own. Your primary care provider can schedule routine tests so you can have the most up-to-date information about your conditions and can help you stay on track in terms of taking your medications.
They can point you in the right direction
Though your primary care provider is trained to help both your physical and mental health, certain health conditions may require a visit to a specialist. Do you need a referral to see an ENT or a cardiologist?
Start with an appointment with your primary care provider, and chances are your doctor has helpful recommendations for specialists.
They know you best
By scheduling regular appointments with your primary care provider through the years, you’ll feel more comfortable having conversations about your health and asking the right questions to ensure your needs are met.
Routine visits with your primary care provider not only help with your comfort level, but they also build on your health history. Knowledge of your previous health history is essential for the prevention of diseases and helps your doctor catch early symptoms of serious conditions.
Get started on this primary goal by getting to know the Primary Care providers of LCMC Health. Visit our physician directory to explore the Primary Care doctors across our healthcare system. Search Family Medicine or Internal Medicine in the physician directory tool.
Find a doctor at LCMC Health: lcmchealth.org/physician-directory