Health Hub: Why Everyone Needs a Primary Care Physician



You may be a busy professional with a crazy schedule; a working parent who can barely keep up with your kids’ medical appointments, much  less your own; a young person who’s never had a serious health issue;  or perhaps you’re just new to the area and haven’t gotten around to  choosing a doctor yet.

You know you’re “supposed to” have a primary care physician (PCP),  but the truth is you’re not sure why.
After all, if you break your arm, you’ll just go to the emergency room. If  you get the flu, you can always seek treatment at one of the urgent care  or walk-in clinics around town. Heck, your local pharmacy might even  offer basic medical services. So what’s the big deal about having a PCP?

A doctor who knows you can be much more effective in keeping  you healthy. 
“A physician you see over time has baseline information on your overall  health that no one else does,” says Kirk Hutjens, MD, a board-certified  internal medicine physician in Winter Park. “Because we collect regular  records of our patients’ immunizations, vital signs and other health  measures, we can more easily pinpoint when something is not right.”

Dr. Hutjens adds that patients are also more likely to mention an  emerging health concern or ask a question about their health when they  have an ongoing relationship with their doctor. “This means you’re more  likely to receive treatment for a problem that might otherwise have gone  unnoticed, with possible long-term consequences.”

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 
A big part of what PCPs do is preventive care – including regular health  screenings for things like high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and so  much more. Having regular checkups with your PCP can help you avoid  preventable illnesses, and help ensure that a potentially serious health  issue is caught early, when treatment can be most effective.

A PCP ensures consistent, coordinated care that benefits YOU. 
If you receive medical care from a number of providers, your PCP is the  one who will keep track of your medications to ensure they are all working  together, serving as the hub in a comprehensive network of care. “Primary  care physicians work closely with your specialists to be sure everyone is  on the same page in terms of your treatment plan,” Dr. Hutjens says. “By  being a central point of contact for other providers, we can make sure our  patients avoid potentially unnecessary or duplicate health testing.”

Benefits of PCP Care

Regular appointments with your primary care physician can benefit you in many ways, including the following:

  • Avoidance of preventable illness
  • Opportunity to build rapport, ask questions and bring up any health concerns
  • Coordination of prescription medications
  • “Baseline” point of reference for when something is amiss

 

Kirk Hutjens, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician in Winter Park. He has a particular interest in treating patients with hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis. Learn more at FHMedicalGroup.com or call (407) 988-2226.

 

 

Florida Hospital Medical Group is the Orlando area’s most comprehensive multi-specialty medical group practice with more than 425 board-certified physicians and surgeons in more than 40 medical specialties.

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