Young Adults: Planning For Your Healthy Future Should Start Now

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doctor in mask talking with young person

When you are young and healthy, having what your parents or grandparents might refer to as a “family doctor” probably seems like an outdated and unnecessary concept. Why go to the doctor if there’s nothing wrong with me, you might ask.

When you establish a comfortable, trusting relationship with a primary care provider (PCP), you are laying the groundwork for a lifetime of good health.

Your provider gets to know you as a person - your lifestyle, your family medical history and your risk factors for certain conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. This baseline understanding helps determine which preventive health screenings are appropriate for you and when.

In addition, patients usually develop longstanding relationships with their PCPs. As a result, your PCP becomes very knowledgeable about your medical history. You PCP knows your previous illnesses and treatments and, as such, is more tuned in to your specific medical needs.

Over time, you will build a medical record that your PCP has access to, giving your provider the best information when you come to them with symptoms. This is particularly important when it comes to managing chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

Most Affordable Option For Care

Seeking routine care at an urgent care or emergency room can be costly and time-consuming. In comparison, when you visit your established PCP, your medical history is at hand, so each appointment can focus on the specific reason for your visit.

Primary care visits are also the most affordable option for care – with low copays and, under many insurance plans, no-cost yearly physicals. Many employer also offer wellness incentives, which can further decrease your out-of-pocket expenses.

Easy Access to Specialty Care

Your PCP will provide the health care services that are most relevant and valuable to you based on their knowledge of your overall health and lifestyle. These will likely include preventive screenings, annual physical exams and strategies for the prevention and management of chronic diseases.

Based on your specific needs, your PCP can refer you to specialty care services that can include: 

  • Holistic therapies like massage, meditation and acupuncture
  • Behavioral health services like stress management programs
  • Advanced care in medical specialties like orthopedics and sports medicine
  • Ancillary services like physical therapy and nutritional counseling
  • Advanced care in medical specialties like cardiology, orthopedics and urology
  • Behavioral health services to manage stress, anxiety and depression
  • Compassionate counseling and treatments for substance disorders (alcohol and drug abuse)
  • Ancillary services like physical therapy, weight loss programming and nutritional counseling

Look for Convenience, Compatibility

As with all relationships, compatibility is important, so look for a PCP who meets all your needs. Some features to look for could include the provider’s location, gender, languages spoken or insurance accepted.

Convenience might be important to you as well. Offerings such as virtual visits, online scheduling, evening or weekend hours and 24/7 access to your health records can make it easier to track and manage your health.

Related Links

At University Hospitals, we believe having a primary care provider is essential to your health and well-being. Our primary care physicians and nurses provide comprehensive, compassionate and continuous primary care for patients of all ages. We are committed to building a healthy relationship with you and your family to detect and minimize long-term health issues, or just help you get over that illness that's going around. Need a primary care provider? Find one here.

 

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