Why You Need a Primary Care Physician
By Steffanie Campbell, MD, FACP
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are trained in a number of different medical specialties and focus on preventive medicine – that is, preventing diseases from developing in the first place.
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.
The Importance of Having A Primary Care Doctor
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 such as diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer that 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. They are on the frontline of your medical care and usually the first to diagnose a health problem. Choosing the right one is a positive step toward maintaining your long-term health.