order to keep an up-to-date relationship with your body, you’ll
need to find a healthcare provider, whom you see at least once
a year for a regular check-up. A healthcare provider can be any
type of medical professional, including a family practice physician
or your ob-gyn. It’s important to have a healthcare provider
for a number of reasons. First of all, by meeting with your provider
on a regular basis, and by having a physical exam and lab work
done on your blood, your provider will learn what is “normal” for
your body. Then, if something abnormal shows up in a physical or
test, your provider will be able to easily identify the problem.
It’s also important to have a provider who knows your medical
history, your medication regimen, and your lifestyle. That way,
your provider will be able to identify any symptoms you mention
and consider the aspects of your life along with the symptom in
giving you a comprehensive diagnosis. Furthermore, if your provider
is familiar with your family’s medical history, he or she
will be able to talk to you about how to prevent certain diseases
to which you might be genetically predisposed.
Your provider will also be able to tell you when you need to see
a specialist. If something regarding a specific area of your body
looks abnormal, or needs to be checked further, your provider will
let you know that you need to see a specialist. For example, if
you have a rash or an irregular mole, your provider will tell you
to go to a dermatologist. Listen to your provider, and don’t
put off the specialist. It’s important to be safe, and to
heed medical advice from a professional. Your primary provider
will keep in contact with your specialist and stay informed about
your health and the specialist’s diagnosis and treatment.
This type of relationship is often found in “managed care” systems
like HMOs and PPOs. These are health systems that join providers,
other healthcare providers (like specialists) and insurance companies
together in an inter-related system of planning, providing and
paying for a patient’s healthcare. If you don’t participate
in one of these types of plans, you can still arrange to have your
physician keep in contact with your specialist.
Click below to read about related topics.
How to Choose
Talking to Your Provider
Getting a Second
Types of Providers