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You might be thinking I am healthy, why do I need regular checkups? A primary care physician is not only there for you when you’re sick, but to partner with you to improve your health and help you prevent illness. Let’s dive into what a primary care physician can do for you and how they can help to raise your overall health! 

Why is prevention the best medicine?  

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, getting preventative care reduces the risk for diseases, disabilities, and death. The idea of preventive medicine is to stop sickness before it starts. A primary care physician can serve as a partner in your healthcare journey. Hey, after establishing care with a provider who can help you create better health habits, with you may just find yourself in the doctor’s office less often—meaning more time doing the things you love!   

What is the main role of a primary care physician?  

A primary care physician is a family medicine or internal medicine specialist. They serve all ages, from children to seniors, versus pediatricians who specialize in children . Primary care physicians provide comprehensive care and can treat an array of illnesses and injuries. The care may include chronic illnesses like diabetes, prevention illnesses like a yearly wellness exam, and acute illnesses like allergic reactions or cold and flu in an outpatient setting. They work with you to help you meet your health goals.  

What are some of the preventative screenings a primary care physician looks at?  

When you have qualified family medicine doctor or advanced provider, they can check for a full range of health problems and provide great feedback and tips to keep you healthy. Some of things they will screen for include high blood pressure; heart disease; high cholesterol; depression; immunization gaps; breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancers; diabetes; and more. They will also listen to your concerns and family history, and tailor your care based on your personal needs and preferences. A good doctor upholds clinical quality while also building a strong personal relationship with you.  

How often do I need to visit my primary care physician?  

Routine checkups are a great way to start taking control over your health. If you are younger than 50 and do not have any major health concerns, you should visit your primary care physician at least every 3 years. If you are over 50 and in good health, you should have a yearly visit. Though if you have a chronic condition or an ongoing health issue(s), you should see your physician more frequently, no matter your age. Every person’s situation is different, and you will be able to work out the best plan for you once you have established care with a physician.  

Remember, a primary care physician is there to keep you healthy. They work to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of conditions that affect people at varying life stages. Building a relationship with your care provider is important, so be sure to choose someone you are comfortable with and trust. Do your homework on the practice and choose a primary care physician who is the best fit for you.