By Jason Bessey, DO
If you’re like many people, you’re constantly thinking about how you can better your health, but you may not know how to, or think you have the time to do so. One simple way to do this is to find a primary care physician (PCP).
When it comes to health care, you should not only be looking for a physician, you’re looking for a partner. It’s important to find a PCP with whom you can trust and build a relationship. PCPs focus on prevention, which is a critical component of your overall health and wellness. They also make sure immunizations are up-to-date, keep medication records, maintain schedules for lab work and tests and address various lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, exercise and more.
At Shawnee Mission Health (SMH), we have a simple-to-use tool available to assist your search in finding aphysician who is likeminded, as well as conveniently-located to you. It’s called MyHealthKC, a doctor-matching resource that helps you find not just a doctor – but the right doctor – in a matter of minutes.
Having a PCP will benefit your overall health and wellness. Here are some of the highlights of having a PCP:
- Health care in one place: PCPs offer patient care in one place, so you have access to an array of services, like preventive care, screenings, sick visits as well as chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.
- Access to a health care team: Behind every PCP is an extended health care team, which includes physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, lab technicians and more. No matter what issue you might experience, your PCP is a great place to start. Your PCP will have access to a greater network and can refer you to specialists, if needed.
- You have a health care advocate: Referring back to my statements earlier about the importance of finding the right physician best for you, think of your PCP as your health care advocate. PCPs guide you through health care and wellness needs, and having a doctor who you feel is a true partner will help you live longer and enjoy better health. You’re also likely to have more accurate diagnoses with someone who sees you regularly, maintains records and can notice changes in your health.
- Lower health care costs: By seeing a physician more regularly and taking better care of your health, you are likely to have fewer medical and ER visits. Many insurance plans include preventative services, such as well-checks and immunizations. By having a PCP, you also have access to calling your doctor with a concern first, before paying for a visit.
This weekly sponsored column is written by Jason Bessey, DO, a physician at Shawnee Mission Primary Care – Blue Valley. Dr. Bessey and his wife, Lauren Bessey, DO, are passionate about overall wellness and they treat patients of all ages at their south Johnson County office. SMPC-Blue Valley is located at the new Shawnee Mission Health Overland Park campus near 159th & 69 Highway. To make an appointment with either Dr. Jason or Dr. Lauren, visit SMPC-Blue Valley’s webpage or call the office at 913-373-2230.