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How Often Should I See My Primary Care Physician?

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How Often Should I See My Primary Care Physician?

Unlike many patient/provider relationships, the goal of Primary Care is to have an ongoing relationship that supports preventive medicine over reactive medicine. Meaning you see your Primary Care/Family Medicine provider to monitor health versus only seeing them when you are sick or for a specific illness or disease. This begs the question of when and how often you should see your Primary Care/Family Medicine Provider

There is no set answer or timetable for everyone, but there are some guidelines

Benefits Of Visiting Your Primary Care Physician

Many think they don’t need to see their doctor unless they are sick. Unfortunately, that is short-sighted and can be a dangerous policy. Before we discuss how often and when, here are some benefits of seeing your primary care physician even when you are not sick.

  • Providers can find health issues before they become problematic.

  • You will receive early treatment for any illnesses.

  • You will get regular monitoring of existing health issues.

  • It will help you to stay on top of vaccinations and screening tests like mammography and colonoscopies.

  • It saves money vs treating complications or severe conditions since they will be caught early.

  • You will develop a trusting relationship with your doctor.

  • It will help you discover ways to improve any lifestyle issues and live longer.

Basic Guidelines For How Often To See Your Primary Care Provider

This timetable should be based on 1) your age, 2) any risk factors you have for chronic illnesses and diseases like cancer, and 3) your current health status. Everyone is different so even the following guidelines are not set in stone.

In general for both men and women, if you are in basically good health and under the age of 50, it is recommended you see your PCP every three years for a checkup. After age 50, see your doctor once a year. After, see your provider once a year. Older patients should consistently see their provider for blood tests/labs and follow up twice per year if there are no other issues.

If you have any chronic illnesses like COPD or diabetes, visiting a healthcare provider should be more frequent, regardless of your age and set by your provider.

A general check-up should include height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rate to compare with former visits. Your provider will probably listen to your heart and lungs to note any abnormalities.

In addition to the physical checks, there will be a discussion of any new symptoms, any issues with alcohol or drugs, and how much you smoke.

Schedule your next check-up at the CCMG Family Medicine Clinic at 307-688-3636. We are also now accepting new patients.

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  • Category: Campbell County Medical Group Family Medicine