June 7, 2023

an apple a day keeps the doctor away

Even if you feel healthy, establishing regular preventive care with your primary care team is crucial.

Having a reliable and knowledgeable primary care provider team is essential. Think of them as your health care quarterback, guiding you through the complexities of medical care. They can ensure you receive the best possible support.

Your Primary Care Provider Team:

Who is on your primary care team? Well, that depends.  This team typically includes a primary care physician, who can be a Doctor of Medicine (MD), a Physician’s Assistant (PA), or a nurse practitioner (NP). These professionals understand the “big picture” of your health. They consider your medical history, current conditions and personal risk factors.

Your primary care provider (PCP) plays a crucial role in managing chronic conditions. They provide ongoing care, track your progress and adjust your treatment plan. They also ensure you stay on top of preventive care activities such as vaccinations, screenings and health assessments. This helps them identify potential health issues before they advance. As a result, conditions are more manageable in the long run.

PCPs excel at providing comprehensive care, but some conditions need specialized treatment. In such cases, they will refer you to specialists who have the necessary expertise. If you have questions about what specialist do, this breakdown is a great place to start. By coordinating with specialists, your PCP ensures you receive appropriate and effective care.

But I feel fine!

Even if you feel healthy, establishing regular preventive care with your primary care team is crucial. Many health conditions can develop silently, without obvious symptoms. Regular check-ups and screenings can detect these conditions early on. As a result, you can receive timely intervention and better management. Here are a few examples:

Did you know that 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it? Early detection and lifestyle modifications can help prevent it from progressing to diabetes.

High blood pressure affects 50% of the US adult population. Most individuals need medication and lifestyle changes to manage their condition. Regular blood pressure monitoring can prevent serious complications.

Finding a Primary Care Provider

So how do you find a primary care provider that suits your needs? Here are some tips to help you in your search:

Decide what type of doctor fits your needs.

Consider factors such as gender preference and communication style. If you have are already aware of health concerns, look for a doctor with relevant expertise.

Check your insurance network.

Once you have a list of potential providers, call your insurance company or the doctor’s office. Verify that they are in-network to help avoid unexpected costs.

Verify locations and hours.

Consider logistical factors such as the proximity of the primary care provider’s office to your home or workplace. Also, check if their office hours align with your schedule. Additionally, find out if they offer telemedicine options for added convenience.

Ask for referrals.

Seek recommendations from friends, family and coworkers. Hearing about others’ experiences can provide valuable insights.

Connect with staff.

Call the locations you are interested in and speak with the staff. Inquire about after-hours availability, patient portal access and any other services that are important to you. A responsive and supportive staff can contribute to a positive healthcare experience.

Schedule that first appointment!

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, book an appointment to meet the provider and discuss your medical history and concerns. Then, pay attention to whether they listen attentively and provide knowledgeable responses. A good rapport is essential for a successful long-term partnership.

Your PCP plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Establishing a trusted primary care provider relationship is an important foundation for preventive care and long-term health. Remember to consider preferences, insurance coverage and logistical factors. The best primary care team is the one that works for you.

Weekly Recipe

Sweet and Fiery Roasted Nuts

The Gift of Preventative Care
Sarah Michaels, RN, CPBS

Authored By

Sarah Michaels, RN, CPBS

VP of Kinetiq Health
Meet Sarah