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Why is it important for adults to have a primary care physician?

It's important to have a primary care doctor because they are the entry point to healthcare. Usually when patients get sick, that's the first place they go. And depending on their age, sex and medical history, patients can also get preventative care.

Primary care doctors also have long-term relationships with their patients. They know their patient's medical history, family history and mental health status. Primary care is more of a holistic care approach than specialty care. At a specialty care center, you’re focusing on only one field.

A qualified primary care doctor can help you navigate the constantly changing guidelines and opinions when it comes to healthcare screening. Your doctor can review these guidelines to make sure you are getting all the testing you need and that you are not paying for testing that either you don’t need or that could cause some potential harm. Further, prevention is more than just following a guideline. A primary care doctor should take other factors into consideration, such as your family history, work exposures and other lifestyle choices.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.