Most of us have a paradoxical relationship with our health. On the one hand, we want to be healthy and do all that we can to ensure a life without illness or injury. But on the other hand, we often avoid things like routine check-ups, even if they’re relatively quick and painless. There are a few possible reasons for this. Some people are so self-conscious they don’t even like when a doctor fully examines them. Others, especially those who have reached a certain age, don’t like going through the tests physical examinations demand, such as mammograms and prostate exams. These exams aren’t necessarily harmful, but they’re not always pleasant either. Others still might simply be afraid of what their doctor will tell them. No one wants to hear they have high blood pressure, need to change their diet, exercise more, and change their lifestyle, even if knowing these things is to their benefit.
Regardless of all these excuses to not regularly visit a primary care physician, it’s extremely important to do so. The costs of neglecting one’s health long enough can be severe and sometimes fatal. Additionally, it can mean taking trips to emergency walk in clinics every time something goes wrong. While urgent care facilities and walk in health clinics are convenient and a crucial part of the American health care system, they can also be less inviting than primary care facilities and require longer wait times due to high traffic. If this isn’t enough to convince you to do a primary care physician search, here are three major reasons to visit your own doctor as opposed to ending up in emergency walk in clinics or the ER.
1) Building Trust and Knowledge
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of having your own doctor is that you can form a relationship with them that is built on trust. Most emergency walk in clinics will have different doctors in rotation, so that even f you visit the same clinic you might not encounter the same doctor. Having a primary care physician, however, ensures that you’ll be in contact with the same person for a very long time. This doctor will begin to know you physically and emotionally, making it easier to examine you and diagnose any problems you might have. Additionally, the more you know and trust your doctor, the more transparent you will be about your habits, concerns, and needs. This reciprocal trust will make your doctor’s job easier and keep you healthier and more aware of your own body.
2) Referring to Family and Friends
The only thing you probably care more about than your own health and well-being is that of your loved ones. By having a primary care provider you trust, you can easily recommend this doctor to a friend or family member in need of a doctor. You’ll feel a lot better knowing that the people you care about can reach out to a trusted professional for their medical needs, and not merely have to rely on medical walk in clinics for their health care.
3) Lower Costs in the Long Run
We all know that health care isn’t cheap. Unfortunately, there’s no real way around this fact right now. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t cut costs here and there when it comes to our health. In fact, having a primary care provider is a great way to reduce your medical costs throughout your life. Getting annual or bi-annual checkups might seem like a drag and even a waste of money, but on the contrary these screenings often prevent you from becoming sick in the future. For issues like high blood pressure, catching them early on can mean saving you a trip to the ER down the road, and even saving your life. Needless to say, ER visits are anything but cheap. Getting a prescription for high blood pressure, however, is far less costly and a great way to avoid something severe like heart failure or stroke.
Thinking about our health can be scary. We want to stay healthy, but don’t always want to know that we’re at risk for a terrible illness. Emergency walk in clinics and ERs are there for us in times of need, but it’s always better to prevent the need for these visits in the first place.