Every year in the United States, adults and kids see their primary care doctors about 430 million times for all sorts of healthcare needs, including “sick” and well visits. That’s because primary care physicians provide critical care that helps patients heal and stay healthy at every age and stage of life.
At Harbor Community Health Centers, our team offers comprehensive primary care services for patients throughout the San Pedro, California, area. Here’s why seeing a primary care doctor is so crucial for your health and the health of your loved ones.
Primary care: Major benefits for your health
Primary care physicians (PCPs) offer patients a wide range of benefits because they perform so many important healthcare functions, like these six.
#1: Acute illness treatment (“sick” visits)
Treating colds, viruses, and other illnesses and infections is probably what primary care doctors are best known for. That’s because diagnosing and treating acute illnesses is a big part of a PCP’s training. When you’re sick, your doctor tailors your treatment to relieve symptoms, shorten the length of your illness, and prevent complications, so you feel better fast.
#2: Chronic disease management
According to the CDC, more than half of Americans have at least one chronic illness, and more than a quarter have more than one. Chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure need ongoing medical management to prevent complications and disease progression. PCPs tailor each management plan to address all the factors that have an impact on your illness.
#3: Custom-tailored preventive care
Annual wellness exams are a big part of preventive care, and a primary care doctor is skilled in tailoring your exam to your needs. That might mean recommending lab tests or other testing, suggesting immunizations, and even providing you with lifestyle changes that can help you lead a healthier, more satisfying life.
#4: Continuity of care for a lifetime of benefits
Primary care doctors provide care for your entire life, which means your doctor has a long-term picture of your health needs. Knowing your health history is crucial for ensuring your future healthcare is optimized for your needs, especially as you get older. Continuity of care (seeing the same primary care doctor for a long time) is associated with better patient health outcomes, greater patient satisfaction, and lower healthcare costs overall.
#5: Specialist recommendations as needed
Primary care doctors can treat and manage a wide range of health issues, but they’re also trained to know when to call in a specialist. Having a primary care doctor is like having your personal healthcare concierge, a medical professional who knows your health history and can make sure your care is always optimized for your health and lifestyle needs.
Your primary care doctor is your partner in healthcare, working side-by-side with you to make sure your care is always optimized for your needs, even as they change throughout your lifetime. To schedule a visit with one of our skilled primary care doctors, call Harbor Community Clinic or book an appointment online today.