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Primary Care Physicians Can Help Keep Illnesses at Bay
My health plan urges me to select a primary care physician. Why is this important?
“Choosing the right primary care physician is the key to good medical treatment,” says Sunday Fadulu, M.D., a Family Medicine physician at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. “Your personal physician is at the frontline of your medical care and usually the first to diagnose a health problem.”
Dr. Fadulu says that a primary care physician cares for a patient’s overall health as opposed to focusing on one specific condition.
“Most patients come to the doctor with common conditions requiring care within the scope of practice of a primary care physician,” he says. “If necessary, however, your personal physician can help you choose a specialist and coordinate additional medical care or diagnostic testing.”
Studies show that patients who receive regular care from a primary care physician are generally healthier and have fewer preventable diseases.
“That’s probably because your primary care physician also addresses lifestyle issues, such as tobacco and alcohol use, diet and weight management, which could negatively affect a patient’s health and quality of life,” he adds.
He says that patients with a primary care physician are more likely to have their cholesterol and glucose levels checked. This can help identify those at risk for heart disease or diabetes in the early stages when positive patient outcomes are more likely.
“A trusting relationship with your primary care physician and a proactive approach to your health care is a big step toward maintaining your long-term health,” concludes Dr. Fadulu.