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​​The Importance of Choosing a Primary Care Physician

Choosing the right primary care physician (PCP) is one of the most important keys to receiving good medical treatment.

​Primary care physicians are trained in a number of different medical specialties and focus on preventive medicine – that is, preventing diseases from developing in the first place, says Patrick Carter, M.D., chief of Family Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Your PCP will address lifestyle issues, such as tobacco and alcohol use; healthy diet and weight management; and the benefits of a regular exercise regimen.

Your primary care physician can help keep you healthy.

Research shows that patients who receive regular care from their PCP are generally healthier and have fewer preventable diseases – probably because patients are having preventive screenings.

These screenings are beneficial in identifying silent diseases – diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer – which may not have noticeable symptoms until serious medical consequences arise. By catching these diseases in the early stages, the chances are greater for better patient outcomes.

Who’s considered a primary care physician?

Primary care physicians are usually specialists in Internal Medicine for adults, Pediatrics for children and Family Medicine for all ages.

"Your PCP is on the frontline of your medical care and usually the first person to diagnose a health problem. Choosing the right one is a positive step toward maintaining your long-term health," Dr. Carter says.​