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Why Everyone Needs a Primary Care Physician

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A doctor who knows you can be much more effective in keeping you healthy.

You may be a busy professional with a crazy schedule; a working parent who can barely keep up with your kids’ medical appointments, much less your own; a young person who has never had a serious health issue; or perhaps just new to the area and haven’t gotten around to choosing a doctor yet.  

You know you’re “supposed to” have a primary care physician (PCP), but the truth is you’re not sure why. 

After all, if you break your arm, you’ll just go to the emergency room. If you get the flu, you can always seek treatment at one of the urgent care or walk-in clinics around town. Your local pharmacy might even offer basic medical services. So, what’s the big deal about having a PCP? 

A doctor who knows you can be much more effective in keeping you healthy. 

A physician you see over time has baseline information on your overall health that no one else does. Because physicians collect regular records of their patients’ immunizations, vital signs, and other health measures, they can more easily pinpoint when something is not right.

Patients are also more likely to mention an emerging health concern or ask a question about their health when they have an ongoing relationship with their doctor. This means you’re more likely to receive treatment for a problem that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, with possible long-term consequences.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

A big part of what PCPs do is preventive care – including regular health screenings for things like high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and so much more. Having regular checkups with your PCP can help you avoid preventable illnesses, and help ensure that a potentially serious health issue is caught early, when treatment can be most effective. 

A PCP ensures consistent, coordinated care that benefits YOU. 

If you receive medical care from a number of providers, your PCP is the one who will keep track of your medications to ensure they are all working together, serving as the hub in a comprehensive network of care. Primary care physicians work closely with your specialists to be sure everyone is on the same page in terms of your treatment plan. By being a central point of contact for other providers, PCPs can make sure their patients avoid potentially unnecessary or duplicate health testing.

Dr. Perri Dumbacher is a board-certified family medicine physician and women’s health specialist at AdventHealth with more than 20 years of clinical experience. To learn more or to make an appointment, visit or call 407-366-8856.

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