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Do I need to see a primary care doctor regularly?

black and white stethoscope

Seeing a primary care doctor is very important for your regular health. Multiple studies have shown that seeing a regular doctor can improve your quality of life but also increase the length of your life.1 A visit with a primary care doctor is important for the following reasons:

  1. Proper screening for diseases and preventative measures can be life saving. For example, on time colon cancer screening can pick up potential cancer and be an early curative measure before the cancer grows or spreads.

  2. It gives you a chance to make certain lifestyle changes your doctor recommends before needing medications in the future. While there is a pill for almost any disease these days, many studies have shown early modification of certain lifestyle factors can be just as successful without the side effects of the medicine. Whether this is managing pre-diabetes with a proper diet or high blood pressure with regular exercise and weight loss, these steps can help avoid being stuck on medications for the rest of your life.

  3. It also gives your doctor the chance to get to know you when you are healthy so they can notice any changes when you are sick. As a doctor, I like to know what my patient’s normal/baseline is. The goal of medicine is always to focus on the person as a whole, not just a specific set of symptoms and numbers. The changes we make to improve a particular disease should always focus on trying to get you back to your everyday normal. Not just making a number look better!

So if you haven’t seen your doctor in a while, I recommend you make an appointment just for a regular visit/physical. If you’ve never seen a doctor before, don’t be scared. Try to find a physician who fits with your personality and goals. This is a long term relationship!

AFP Health has proudly been serving the Thousand Oaks area for over 35 years. Our primary care physicians have many years of experience and are always open to taking new patients. We hope we can help you on your healthcare journey. 
Shi L. The impact of primary care: a focused review. Scientifica (Cairo). 2012;2012:22 p.
Dr. Aamir Iqbal Dr. Aamir Iqbal is a board certified Internal Medicine physician who focuses on preventative care and keeping healthy patient's healthy!

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