In the bustling rhythm of life, health often takes a backseat until we are interrupted by an unexpected health concern. We must make a point of communicating with our primary care physician clearly about the state of our health. Our PCPs are there for more than preventative care and identifying health concerns before they become serious. They can treat our concerns, help us achieve a healthier lifestyle, and manage chronic conditions. However, it can be difficult to determine if a health concern merits a visit to your PCP or Urgent Care. MD First Primary & Urgent Care is here to let you know when to schedule an appointment with your PCP.
How To Know When It’s Time To See Your Primary Care Physician
Knowing when it’s time to see your primary care physician can be confusing, but you must be able to make this critical decision. Seeking medical care in a timely fashion is a necessary part of maintaining your health. The minimum you should see your doctor is once a year for an annual check-up. These visits help your doctor keep their finger on the pulse of your health, identifying any developing concerns and ensuring existing ones are properly managed. So when is it necessary to schedule an appointment outside of your annual visit?
- Persistent Symptoms – When pain, fever, or prolonged discomfort are present, it’s time to get on the phone. Conditions such as chest pain, severe headache, and shortness of breath may merit a visit to the Urgent Care or ER. For these symptoms, seek immediate care.
- Managing Chronic Health Concerns – If you live with chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease, you should regularly visit your physician. Conditions like these will often have you visiting them regularly, three or four times a year, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
- Medication Concerns – If you’re currently taking medication and have questions about side effects or their effectiveness, call your doctor. Scheduling an appointment will give you time to track the concern and give a clear report to them during your visit.
- Preventative Screenings And Vaccinations – Ongoing check-ups often include screenings as part of preventative care. You’ll also be updated on your vaccines at visits like these.
Your primary care physician is your guide to navigating your lifelong health journey. They’re there to help you ensure that your choices are well-informed. They’ll also help you coordinate care between specialists if necessary. Developing a trusting relationship with your primary care physician ensures that you and your doctor are up to date with your current health status.
Ensuring Continuity In Your Health Care Journey
The most important rule to follow when considering if it’s time to see your PCP is this: if in doubt, give a shout. You can also stop in at our urgent care anytime if you have health care concerns. We’re always available to see you and can make sure you’re in good shape when it comes time to see your PCP again. Call us today at (803) 283-2300 or stop by our location in Lancaster, SC.