In the age of specialization, the question often arises - do I need a Primary Care Provider (PCP)?
If staying healthy is the goal, you should consider this answer - yes. Why? A few reasons.
Before listing 3 major 'whys', it's important to understand what a PCP is. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines primary care as "first-contact, accessible, continued, comprehensive and coordinated care. First-contact care is accessible at the time of need; ongoing care focuses on the long-term health of a person rather than the short duration of the disease; comprehensive care is a range of services appropriate to the common problems in the respective population; and coordination is the role by which primary care acts to coordinate other specialists that the patient may need."
Or simply put, PCPs are the health captain of your ship.
So, what are the 'whys'?
'Why' #1: a major study published in 2019 found that Americans with a PCP received significantly more high-value care and reported significantly better health care access and experience. High-value care includes things such as: cancer screenings, diagnostic & preventative testing, diabetes care, and counseling.
'Why' #2: more comprehensive care has been associated with lower health care costs and fewer hospitalizations.
'Why' #3: better patient health outcomes and lower mortality are associated with utilizing primary care providers in comparison to using a specialist as a personal provider.
To foster lifelong health you must be proactive. Establishing a relationship with a PCP is an important piece to this puzzle. Your PCP is an invaluable resource that can help treat, manage, prevent, cure or alleviate common illnesses and chronic conditions - all while promoting health each step of the way.