Health is probably one of the most important aspect of your life - if not the most important. For someone with a busy lifestyle, it can be easy to overlook especially when you don't have any physical complaints. However, sometimes there can be underlying problems affecting you, even if they don't cause symptoms. No matter how healthy you are, or what age you are, there are lots of reason why you need a primary care doctor
A primary care doctor can be your go-to for everyday health care. A study conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical school has found that having a primary care doctor look after your health was associated with improve life expectancy, decrease mortality rate, better health outcomes and access to healthcare. Primary care doctor often train to perform preventive care, education about your diet and lifestyle, screening of various chronic diseases and cancer as well as providing early diagnosis all in hope to reduce risk of terminal diagnosis and various serious complication in the future
Having a regular primary care doctor to look after you and your family's health are crucial as your doctor will have all detailed history about you and your family's health. Your primary care doctor knows you better than any other doctor and can care for you and your family's health throughout different stages of life. In the long run, this will save you a lot of health care costs. By having regular check-up and open communication with your primary care doctor allow for early screening to detect diseases when it's at its earliest and easiest to treat. This can save you a lot of specialist visit cost and hospitalisation fees and fewer visits to emergency care
From an outsider's perspective, both GPs (general practitioner) and Family Physician appear to take similar role as a primary care doctor. Any doctor can set up a private clinic after obtaining a medical degree from a medical school recognised by the Ministry and completed their compulsory public service. If they have not received any postgraduate training in primary care, they will be consider a GP. Family Physician is a doctor who has medical degree and completed their compulsory service and undergo postgraduate training in Family Medicine area. Family Physician has to go through rigorous training, examinations and be accredited by Family Physician board of the country. Is there benefit of seeing a Family Physician? Not only are they capable of managing a wide variety of disease across all age groups, they are trained to treat each patient holistically who focuses on all aspects of your life, and takes into account how your lifestyle influences your overall welbeing. Over time, they will get to know your family and any recurring issues and this can result in a more comprehensive care for everyone in the family
How frequent should you see your doctor will vary, depending upon your age and health status . At minimum you should see your doctor once or twice a year for health screening and for your doctor to assess your general health and well-being. Choosing a primary care doctor is a vital step toward managing your health care. It is important to find a primary care doctor who not only has the qualifications to manage your health but also understand your health needs, goals and concerns. You want to choose a primary care doctor whom you feel comfortable having open and honest discussion. You can also ask your local neighbourhood people for referral of their primary care doctor or looks for reviews and rating of the doctor and the clinic. Other factors to consider are whether the clinic is under your panel or insurance coverage, ease of getting appointment visit, ambience of the clinic space and efficient and friendly support staff to help with your needs.