5 Reasons You Need a PCP, Especially if You’re a Woman

Mar 26, 2024 | College Health, Primary Care, Women's Health

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Welcome to the world of adulting, where taking charge of your health becomes essential. 

You may have heard the term “PCP” or “GP” floating around the healthcare space. Primary care physician, or PCP, simply means a doctor who handles your general health needs, from routine check-ups to managing chronic conditions. 

GP, or general practitioner, internist, internal medicine or family medicine doctor are other terms for primary care provider. Your PCP may also be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

Basically, a PCP is your health bestie, and having one you see regularly can save you money, time and keep you healthier in the long run. Let’s break down why you really need to start a relationship with a PCP:

1. Your Wallet Will Thank You 

Primary care visits are one of the most affordable care options with most insurance coverage, some costing as low as $5 a visit. Seeing a PCP costs less than urgent care, which can cost hundreds, even for those with coverage. 

Staying healthier longer is the smartest financial move you can make for yourself as you age. By scheduling routine visits and staying ahead of health issues means fewer surprise bills down the road. Win-win!

2. You’ll Stay Ahead of Any Issues

Even when you feel like the picture of health, regular visits to your PCP are invaluable. These check-ins not only help track your health status but also allow for early detection of any potential issues. Remember, prevention is key, and your PCP is your partner in staying ahead of the game.

Pro tip: don’t ghost your PCP for too long or you might have to start from scratch! If you haven’t seen your PCP in three or more years, you will have to reestablish with your doctor as a new patient. This could limit your immediate access to care. When you catch the flu, a stomach bug or any illness, being established gives you access to online messaging, video visits and more, without the hefty urgent or emergent care price tag.

3. Your PCP Helps Navigate More Than Your Physical Health

A PCP offers comprehensive care for all aspects of your health. From managing chronic conditions to addressing mental health concerns, including stress and anxiety, your PCP is your go-to guide for overall wellness. 

In addition to annual visits, your provider can treat illnesses that arise in between, such as sinus infections, urinary tract infections, COVID-19, the flu and more. And if you need a specialist, they’ve got connections!

4. Why Women Need a PCP

Ladies, you’re more than just your reproductive system! Although women as a group visit the doctor more regularly than men, they may still be skipping one important check-up that can lead to gaps in care.

While your OB-GYN is your go-to for reproductive health needs, a PCP addresses broader health concerns and is an important player on your healthcare team. An OB-GYN is a specialist who focuses on one specific area of women’s health. 

PCPs focus on a range of conditions and overall health needs for their patients. From managing chronic conditions like hypertension, anxiety or heart disease to providing preventive care, your PCP ensures you receive comprehensive care tailored to your needs. They can also serve as a solid gut check when you need a second opinion or advice on all your health issues.

5. Prevention is Better Than a Cure

Investing in your health is like putting money in the bank.

Establishing care with a PCP before health issues arise is like insurance for your well-being. Regular check-ups and screenings can catch potential issues early, preventing them from escalating into costly medical emergencies. Smart move, right?

Ready to take charge of your health? Experience the difference of having a PCP on your side, and discover the ways our health system makes it easy to get started with a primary care relationship.

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