If we are lucky to have good genes and we take care of ourselves, we only need to see two or three doctors throughout our lives, a pediatrician as a kid, a family medicine / internal medicine doctor as an adult, and an ob-gyn if you are a woman. There’s also the occasional urgent care or emergency room visit for accidents or illness and the six month teeth cleaning at the dentist. But, as we get older, our bodies begin to break down. Blood pressure goes up, sugar levels increase, bones weaken, and so on. Sometimes, you will need to see a specialist to deal with a health issue. You might even be seeing a specialist more often than your primary care physician. Under these circumstances, would it still be worthwhile to see your primary care physician?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that while the specialist concentrates on one complex issue that needs advanced training that the specialist has, the primary care physician has the broad based training to help you with all health concerns. No matter how many specialists you have or problems you are concerned about, the primary care physician can help evaluate and treat these problems or refer you to specialists if need be. Your primary care physician is best suited to be the first person to help you when something new occurs and can start you down the path of healing. They can also help you understand what different specialists are doing and assist you with deciding the best course of action.
For those of us who are healthy and aiming to stay that way, a primary care physician is the best option as well. Staying healthy is easier and better than recovering from illness and a primary care physician is the perfect individual for you.
STARFIELD, B. , SHI, L. and MACINKO, J. (2005), Contribution of Primary Care to Health Systems and Health. The Milbank Quarterly, 83: 457-502. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0009.2005.00409.x
“The Importance Of Primary Care Physicians – Penn Medicine”. Pennmedicine.Org, 2018, https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2014/march/the-importance-of-primary-care-physicians. Accessed 26 Nov 2018.