Three Benefits of a Primary Care Physician

What is a primary care physician? A primary care physician (PCP), or primary care provider, is a health care professional who practices general medicine. In the old days, people simply called them their “family doctor.” PCPs are our first stop for medical care.

Establishing care with a primary care provider benefits you in three primary ways:

1. Improved Quality of Care

People who see a PCP tend to have better health outcomes. That’s because they can provide:

  • Individualized Care: It’s important to have a trusting relationship with a doctor who knows you and your unique medical history.
  • Preventative Care: Make regularly scheduled visits with the same doctor to spot danger signs early on.
  • Chronic Disease Management: Monitoring chronic diseases is critical for maintaining overall health and preventing unnecessary complications.
  • Comprehensive Care: It’s imperative to have one doctor who keeps the big picture in mind by caring for the patient’s immediate medical needs.
2. Higher Patient Satisfaction

Patients who find a reliable PCP tend to be happier with their medical care. That’s because a trusting relationship can lead to:

  • Easier Communication: If you know your doctor’s style and they know yours, communication will be easier. You also won’t have to repeat your medical history every time you need a checkup.
  • Better Referrals: Get specialist referrals from a trusted source who knows your personality and health history.
  • Less Searching: There is no need to go searching for a new doctor, specialist, or urgent care center every time you have a medical problem or concern.
  • Less Stress: Keep a regular schedule for your annual physical exams and screenings and you won’t have to wonder if and when it’s time to see a healthcare professional.
3. Lower Overall Costs

If better health and happiness aren’t enough, having a PCP can also help decrease your long-term medical costs. That’s because patients with a PCP tend to have:

  • Fewer Hospital and ER Visits: If your PCP is a phone call away, you’ll be less likely to need emergency care. See a doctor regularly and you’re also less likely to be caught off guard by a major health problem.
  • Fewer Long-Term Problems: Spot problems early on and you’ll reduce the need for expensive procedures down the road.
  • Fewer Complications: Monitoring chronic conditions helps you prevent complications. That improves your health, and helps you lower long-term costs.

How to Find a PCP

Use the BCBSKS “Find a Doctor” tool to find the doctor of your choice and schedule a visit to establish care today!