When medical needs like flu symptoms, a new rash, or nagging pain develop, who is your first point of contact? In most situations, a family medicine provider is a great place to start.
Medical emergencies are an exception. An emergency is a valid reason to visit urgent care or the ER (learn the difference here). Still, far too many Americans use urgent care as their primary source of healthcare which is an expensive cycle. A better alternative is establishing care with a primary care provider (or PCP). Learn why you ought to have a primary care provider for yourself and your family in today’s post.
A primary care provider helps prevent future problems.
Family physicians are trained to diagnose and treat illnesses, but they also help your family stay healthy in the first place. Preventative care is an important part of a family physician’s job; that includes routine checkups, blood work, and necessary screenings. Research shows that people who have an ongoing relationship with a PCP have better overall health outcomes and lower total costs of care.
They follow your life cycle.
From toddlers to old timers, family medicine providers see it all. PCPs often treat their patients for years or even decades. Over the long term, that means you can build a relationship with a family physician and they can keep a record of your health history. More on this below.
They get to know your health history.
When doctors treat you for years, they get to know your medical history inside and out. This helps them watch for red flags and monitor changes in your health through the years.
The “family” part of family medicine matters, too. Seeing multiple generations of a family will help your provider record an accurate, in-depth family health history. For example, if your provider knows your father and his father both had cancer at a young age, that’s a red flag. They may recommend genetic screening for you and other family members who are at risk.
They can help you find the right specialist when you need one.
Ogden Clinic has over 20 medical specialties—all covered by most insurance providers. If you need to be referred to a specialist, your primary care provider can usually help you find the perfect in-network doctor.
They treat more than you might think.
Here’s a short list of health concerns your primary care provider can address.
- Chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis
- In-office surgeries like abscess draining, mole removal, and wart removal
- Women’s health services like contraception, pap smears, UTI treatment, and health screenings
- Some family medicine doctors see patients for mental health concerns like ADHD and depression
- …and more. Visit our website to see a full list.
Do you have a primary care provider yet?
Good news if you don’t: Ogden Clinic has over 50 family medicine providers from Pleasant View to Bountiful. We encourage you to check out their provider bios and locations on our website. If you have any questions, give us a call! We’re happy to discuss your needs and help you find the perfect PCP.