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You’re part of the family: 6 benefits of a primary care provider

You’re part of the family: 6 benefits of a primary care provider

Though you may not see them every day, your primary care provider not only cares for you but cares about you. You could think about seeing your primary care team like attending a family reunion. They know who you are, where you come from, the good choices you’ve made and the questionable ones, and they’re always glad to see you no matter how long it’s been.

Whether you see a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, your primary care provider, or PCP, can help you stay healthy and live well.

1. Your PCP knows you like family

The relationship with your PCP builds over time. They get to know your family and personal medical history. Plus, they know your goals, lifestyle, preferences and values. You can trust them to give you straight answers and look out for your health, whether you’re thriving, struggling or simply maintaining.

People who regularly see a PCP also tend to have better overall health and improved health outcomes.

2. They’re a dependable guide for your quest to live well

Because your PCP knows the ins and outs of your health and lifestyle, they can ensure you get the vaccinations and screenings you need when you need them. This preventive care may help you avoid many illnesses, from the flu to high blood pressure to cancer.

They’ll let you know if your family history or lifestyle raises your risk for certain health conditions. But they won’t just hand you a list of medical terms and push you out the door. Instead, they’ll sit with you and explain the details.

Because they know you well, your PCP can help guide you through typical life changes and may be able to spot early signs of a health concern before anyone else.

3. Your PCP is there for the unexpected

You can always turn to your primary care provider for minor illnesses or injuries. They are well-versed in dealing with a wide range of non-emergency health issues, including:

  • A cough
  • Colds
  • Constipation
  • Cuts or scrapes
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infections
  • Muscle sprains or strains
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Respiratory infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Shingles
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach viruses

Many PCPs can get you a same-day appointment or offer a virtual visit if needed.

4. They can help you manage chronic conditions

Primary care providers are experts at managing chronic conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Underactive thyroid

They can prescribe medication and show you how to make simple everyday changes to improve your overall health and prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

5. When you need a specialist, your PCP can hook you up with the right one

Many people have health conditions that require a specialist, such as a cardiologist to care for their heart or an oncologist to treat cancer. Your PCP can help connect you to the right specialist if you need it. Because they know you well, they can often recommend a specialist who is a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.

6. Primary care providers help you save money

PCP visits are typically less expensive than urgent care or emergency room visits. Plus, an ongoing relationship with a PCP makes you less likely to need emergency care or to be hospitalized.

Your PCP can also help you stay on top of any medications, which means easier refills and fewer symptoms that might cause you to go to an urgent care or ER.

Choosing a PCP

The right PCP for you is one who:

  • Can explain things in a way that makes sense
  • Has a convenient office location
  • Is good at listening and pays attention to your concerns
  • Makes you feel comfortable
  • Offers office hours that work for your schedule
  • Welcomes you in no matter how long it’s been–and always hopes to see you again soon
Get started with a PCP near you.