Q&A: Importance of Having a PCP with Dr. Nosheen Mian
Do you have a primary care physician? Do you know why it is important to have one? Dr. Nosheen Mian with CHI St. Vincent Primary Care – Sherwood has information about why we all need to have a primary care physician.
Why is having a PCP important?
A primary care physician performs routine check-ups and monitors how healthy you are to keep you that way. We also provide care for patients when they are sick or injured. Primary care physicians take care of patients of all ages and also provide preventive medicine. Preventive medicine, like health screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar and immunizations help protect and promote health and prevent disease.
How does having a primary care physician help me?
A primary care physician can help you age healthier. States in this country with more primary care physicians per capita have better health and less cancer, heart disease and stroke. And people who have a primary care physician tend to live longer.
These are all benefits of continuity of care – when you have an established relationship with your doctor it helps you in the long run because your doctor knows you and can help you manage your health. By monitoring your health, with regularly scheduled exams, your primary care physician is better able to notice small changes in your health that might point to an underlying illness – that when caught early - has a better chance of a good outcome.
People who have regular visits with a primary care physician make fewer trips to the emergency department and are admitted to the hospital less often than patients who don’t have a primary care physician. People who don’t have a primary care physician often wait too long to see a doctor and end up having to be rushed to the emergency room and are admitted to the hospital more often.
With a primary care physician, you avoid some of the cost associated with ER visits and hospitalizations.
If I’m not sick, why do I need to see my primary care physician for a regular exam?
Regular check-ups help your primary care physician help you stay healthy. You’ll get information that is unique to you to help you manage your health. Your primary care doctor will talk with you and give you information about things like keeping your blood pressure and your weight in check, the use of alcohol and tobacco and how to manage stress and anxiety. That’s called being proactive in staying healthy. And it helps prevent chronic illness and disease.
But what if I have an illness or injury that requires a specialist. How can my primary care physician help me with that?
If you need to see a specialist, your primary care doctor will refer you to someone they know. The two will collaborate so that you have the best possible outcome. If you want opinions from more than one specialist, your primary care physician can help you understand the difference and help you decide which specialist is right for you. The specialist you choose can work with your primary care physician and keep track of your care.
What should I look for in selecting a primary care physician?
You should choose a primary care physician who makes you feel comfortable – someone who makes you feel safe and that you can trust and who will listen to you and your concerns. If you find yourself with a primary care physician who doesn’t provide that level of comfort you should look for another doctor. Your family and friends can refer you to a primary care physician as well. Talk with them and see if they have doctors who might work for you. Learn more about Dr. Nosheen Mian and CHI St. Vincent Primary Care – Sherwood.