General Physicians: Why They Are Still Important

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In a world that lauds specialization, the general physician or practitioner is often taken for granted and seen as someone who will only direct you to the "right" medical professional for your condition. In fact, the general physician can be your best ally in the sometimes confusing world of contemporary medicine.


Unless your insurance policy requires that you go through your primary care physician, most patients are free to consult with any specialist that they wish. However, you will probably not have the in-depth relationship with them that you would have with your primary physician. Because your primary physician sees you frequently, they are most likely to notice subtle changes in your health. Although your medical records will be shared with any specialist you consult, they may overlook small changes in your blood pressure or other health concerns that your primary would not. 

Fewer Emergency Visits

Having a primary care physician means that you are receiving good preventative care, so you are less likely to need emergency trips to the hospital. Also, if you become ill, you can call your doctor instead of running to the emergency room for help, even on the weekends. Because your primary doctor knows your general physical condition, they can call in a prescription for you if necessary. They may be able to work you into an office visit slot or suggest treatments that you can perform at home. Since emergency room visits are costly and frequently take hours, avoiding them is better for your health and your wallet.

Healthier Old Age

Evidence shows that states with more primary care physicians have a better quality of health, including fewer deaths from strokes, cancer, and heart disease. Also, communities that have a higher number of these physicians boast residents that live longer. Experts attribute these benefits to the continuity of care that a general physician provides for you. Your chronic health conditions are better managed, and new problems are discovered and treated quickly.

You may be tempted to go directly to specialists with your health concerns, but you can actually be healthier and live longer if you find a primary care physician to visit regularly. Having a strong relationship with this health care professional means that any trips to a specialist will be managed more efficiently and your care coordinated. Having one dependable physician to turn to first regarding all your medical matters is the best medicine. Consider contacting the professionals at Mount Laurel Primary Care Physicians for more information.