Today, many people live rather hectic lives, dividing their day between working, raising children, exercising, taking care of the house, and the pets, cooking, and finding what little time they have left to get together with family and friends. Because everyone’s schedule is so full, many people use the excuse that they don’t have time for yet another appointment, especially a doctor’s visit, especially if they’re not sick or injured. The fact of the matter is, having and keeping annual meetings with your primary care provider is essential to maintaining long-term good health and living a longer, happier, better quality of life.
Primary care providers responsible for managing your health throughout your lifetime are the backbone of today’s healthcare system. While it may seem redundant to have your weight, blood pressure, heart, and lungs checked every time you visit your primary care provider, these routine checks can help your doctor and you identify any health issues or concerns early on before something becomes either a nuisance or worse, a life-threatening problem. Early detection for any condition or illness can potentially save you from discomfort, physical pain, and suffering, or even death. And, with early detection, your doctor can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on treatments. Your primary care physician will actively work with you to identify any risk factors you may have, and help you manage common ailments, as well as chronic diseases.
Having a primary care physician you feel comfortable with is essential, as this is the person you’ll be having conversations with regarding any physical or mental concerns, including some issues that you may feel are too personal to discuss with others. Feeling at ease with a doctor you respect, and trust will give you the confidence to ask the crucial questions you need answers to. Make sure your doctor is easy to talk to and is interested in hearing what you have to say.
Your primary care physician may also discuss with you how changes in your lifestyle, behaviors, nutrition, or exercise may benefit you. If necessary, they may recommend prescription medications or procedures, to help you meet your healthcare needs and goals.
Whether you feel perfectly healthy or have a healthcare concern, you can think of your primary care physician as a one-stop-shopping. Your appointment opens a wide range of programs and services to you via referrals. One day you may need to make an appointment to learn why you’re hearing is not as good as it used to be, or you have a dark spot on your skin that doesn’t look right to you; either way, your primary care physician can assist by treating you there in the office, or with pointing you in the right direction.
See your relationship with your primary care physician as an investment in you, your health, and your well-being, as well as a promise to your family that you will do everything within your power to live a long, healthy, and productive life with them.