Why you should establish a primary care provider today

March 8, 2023

Many people wait until they are sick to find a doctor — or avoid the doctor’s office altogether. However, meeting regularly with a provider can benefit your health through early disease detection and preventive care.  

Regular exams and screenings have been shown to save lives and reduce the impact of disease. That’s why it’s important to establish care with a primary care provider (PCP). In fact, you’ll probably see this provider more than any other type of doctor. A PCP can be a provider, physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner who specializes in family medicine or internal medicine.  

Getting started with your PCP

One of the best times to meet with your care provider is when you’re not sick. Scheduling an annual wellness visit is a simple way to make sure you and your provider are updated on your current health goals. Come prepared by making a list of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications/supplements and exactly how you are taking them. 

Your provider can help you navigate medications, a broad range of conditions, and any health concerns for the future, as well as screen for existing conditions, including:  

  • Cancer, such as breast, colon, or prostate 

  • Diabetes 

  • Heart disease 

  • Heart health 

  • High blood pressure 

  • High cholesterol 

  • Osteoporosis (weak bones) 

  • Mental health conditions 

  • Vaccinations (some are age-specific) 

  • Weight management 

They can also coordinate care for specialty services and providers such as: 

  • Gastroenterology 

  • Neurology 

  • Orthopedics 

  • Endocrinology 

Staying healthy and achieving your health goals is best done with expert help. Often your primary care provider is with you for all stages of life, so it’s important to find someone you are comfortable with and begin to build a strong relationship.