A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) involving more than 70,000 Americans found that having a primary care physician (PCP) may improve long-term health.
People with a PCP were more likely to have a preventive health visit in the previous year and to take prescription medicines routinely. They reported a better overall patient experience and improved access to healthcare services.
When you have a long-term relationship with your PCP you receive personalized care. Your PCP takes the time to get to know you and has a comprehensive understanding of your medical history. They consider your whole health, with an emphasis on preventing illness rather than merely treating it.
Routine screenings are important for identifying health issues early. People who regularly see their PCP have access to:
Your PCP also provides advice and education around healthy lifestyle issues such as:
Should health concerns arise, your PCP is the point person for ensuring you receive the care you need. They may refer you to a specialist for a higher level of care, manage conditions themselves or manage conditions in partnership with a specialist. Common chronic conditions that require vigilant care include:
Even the healthiest among us become ill sometimes. When you know and trust your PCP, you gain easy access to acute care, whether you experience flu symptoms or a sprain. Your PCP may offer immediate solutions to get you feeling better, such as: