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. 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 Dr. Ledy Rojas, a board-certified family medicine physician in Lake Nona. “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. Rojas 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. Rojas says. “By being a central point of contact for other providers, we can make sure our patients avoid potentially unnecessary or duplicate health testing.”
About the Author
Ledy Rojas, MD is board certified in family medicine. She provides primary care services to men, women and children (age five and older), with a special focus on women’s care and obesity prevention. She is fluent in English and Spanish. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit FHMedicalGroup.com or call (407) 988-2226.