September 08, 2017

Reasons to See a Primary Care Provider

Feel fantastic? Not even a single ache?

You still need to visit your primary care physician or provider yearly.

Seeing a primary care doctor isn’t necessarily about how you feel today; it’s about how you will feel in decades to come. Think of the physician as the first line of defense for your health.

Family physicians focus on the whole body, the whole person. Their job is to keep people healthy for as long as they can be, living healthy lives from day one.

Annual well-visits, or health maintenance checks, not only allow you to establish a relationship with a doctor, but also allow the physician to monitor your health through the years, performing needed screenings and maintaining a consistency of care that will help identify changes or problems early.

Annual checkups are tailored to each patient, based on age and history. For a younger, healthy person, the yearly exam might not include bloodwork, such as a lipid panel checking cholesterol and glucose levels, but if you have a family history of heart disease or diabetes, it might. That is why knowing the patient is key — the physician needs to assess risk factors.

Bloodwork can also check kidney and liver function, as well as potassium and sodium levels, all of which offer key insights into how well your body is functioning.

Primary care providers also perform screening for diseases that become more common as we age, including cancer. For people older than 50, a colonoscopy might be recommended. Women might receive a mammogram or a bone density test.

Sometimes, patients leave with information they didn’t have before and that allows them to be more proactive with their health.

More people have had annual checkups in recent years, likely because most insurance plans now cover them fully.

Be honest and open with your doctor. Taking charge can prevent so many issues down the road.

The first step? Make an appointment.

Find a primary care provider near you today or call 844.6BAPTIST.

Learn More.