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The Importance of Primary Care

Our health is undoubtedly our most prized possession, and our greatest asset. No amount of money, resources, or connections can amount to anything at all, if we are not in the best of health. The healthcare system comprises of a great many primary care providers. But especially when it comes to something as invaluable as our health, we want to make sure it is the number one priority not just in our eyes, but also for our primary care physician and our primary care hospital.

Pool of Expertise

While primary care can be described simply as general care, it includes a great deal of expertise pooled in by general physicians and specialists. That being said, almost all disciplines are included within the over-arching head of primary care. It includes family medicine, nursing and nurse practitioners, internal medicine, pharmacy, general ob/gyn, pediatrics, gerontology, community health, behavioral health and optometrists. However, the list is by no means exhaustive, and includes other people and individuals hailing from other professions as per the needs of the patient at hand.

Front Line Force

There couldn’t be a description more appropriate for primary care than the front line force. These are the individuals who are the first point of contact for all patients. Whenever we aren’t feeling well, and head over to the hospital, we are met with a primary care provider. They listen to our concerns, and assess our concerns to ascertain the medical care needed. The first signs of a range of conditions like depression, cancer, or other health concerns are observed by them. This makes them for all means and purposes, the quarterbacks of the entire healthcare system.

Lower Costs

A primary care doctor can provide us with an indispensable service in warding off serious illnesses and helping us stay in the best of health. Routine check-ups that we tend to take quite lightly, keep potentially severe issues at bay. In fact, within the U.S., adults with a primary care provider were found to have lower odds, and significant ones at that, of premature death. A prolonged and healthy life, is reason enough to establish the importance of this particular entity. However, an added benefit is the lowering of healthcare costs. This is because emergency rooms cost quite a bit – at least four times more than going to a primary care hospital. Those who see only specialists, tend to spend a great deal more than those who utilize the precious services of a primary care hospital. In fact, individuals who go to specialists only have been found to spend 33% more! Furthermore, diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses which can be caught in routine checkups is substantially cheaper than treatment of illnesses that are advanced or severe. None of us is invincible. At some point in our lives, we are all likely to feel under the weather. It is then that the importance and value of our primary care provider truly surfaces.


Primary Care Progress

Penn Medicine

Mayo Clinic Health System