In today’s society, many adults are not visiting a health-care physician nor a primary care physician at all. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only approximately 84% of adults living in the United States saw a health-care provider at least once last in 2017.


However, by not seeing a primary care physician, you could be doing your overall health a disservice. Our team at UAB Medical West wants you to understand the important role a primary care physician plays in your health care—even if you are not sick.


Is It Necessary to Have a Primary Care Physician?


To answer this question in one word—yes! Let’s take a look at the various ways a primary care physician plays a role in your overall health.


Catching Chronic Diseases Sooner Rather than Later


Even if you do not fall ill throughout the year, a primary care physician will recommend seeing you at least once a year for an annual wellness exam, which includes:


  • Checking vitals
  • Discussing family history and current medications
  • Giving vaccinations, if needed
  • Physical examination
  • Taking blood work
  • Undergoing screenings, if needed

Because these tests are run every year, your primary care physician is more likely to catch any differences that occur and could potentially point to a medical condition like diabetes and high cholesterol.


In any case a medical condition arises, the earlier the detection—the better the treatment plan and outcome.


Establishing a deeper relationship with your Primary Care Physician


As in any relationship, you want to be able to turn to someone you can trust. When it comes to your health care, you want to be able to trust your doctor. However, how are you going to get to that point when every time you make a trip to a medical facility you see a different physician?


By selecting a primary care physician and working with him or her on a regular basis (from sickness to annual wellness checks), you can get to know one another on a deeper level, which allows you to receive the quality care you need while in a comfortable environment.


Plus, because you get to know your physician on a more trusting level, you are more likely to be up front and honest about any and all new symptoms that appear. As a result, it can mean an earlier diagnosis if the symptoms that arise indicate a medical condition.


Decreasing Your Risk of a Hospital or Emergency Room Visit


Think you are too busy to see a primary care physician? Then, you probably wouldn’t like the time away when you are in an emergency room or hospital.

Since a primary care physician is able to help you to stay more on top of your health, you are more likely to become aware of any medical issues plaguing you early, which means you are less likely to need a trip to the emergency room (ER) or hospital.

However, when you ignore symptoms or don’t visit a primary care physician for health care, you run the risk of needing to turn to an ER for immediate care, which can result in a higher medical bill, too.

Wouldn’t you rather spend the time talking to your primary care physician than sitting for hours waiting for care in an ER? We would, too!

Are you currently looking for a new physician? The medical team at UAB Medical West in Bessemer, AL, is here to help.

Are you looking for a new physician? Visit UAB Medical West today or call our physician referral line at 205-996-WEST. We are here to serve the communities of Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, and Vance.