One primary care GP to best manage your health
Each doctor you see knows a small piece of your health history. To get the best care so you can be in your best possible health, you should have one doctor who coordinates your care. This person is your primary care General Practitioner or "GP".
Your primary care GP helps you take care of your general health. They take care of families and individuals and can help with anything from treating colds, flu and infections to managing chronic conditions, or giving guidance on how to better manage your mental health or improve your lifestyle. This makes them a great choice for your primary care GP - your "go to" doctor for all your healthcare needs.
Your primary care GP should be the first person you call when you have a medical problem that isn't an emergency.
The benefit of having a single primary care GP who knows you
By getting the treatment that is right for you, you save time and money, and can start getting better sooner.
Each time you go to a new doctor, you have to fill in a form explaining your medical history which includes what chronic medicine you take and what medical conditions you have. A new doctor who hasn't treated you before, won't know your complete history, what medicine you're taking and what does and doesn't work for you. They can repeat tests that have already been done and this can be costly and time consuming.
Your primary care GP already has this information. They know your medical history including what medicine you take, and they also know the healthcare approach that has worked for you in the past and, importantly, what hasn't. They can make sure that your medicines don't interact with each other and have a good overall idea of how your body generally reacts to illness, based on your history.
Having a single primary care GP also helps you to develop a meaningful relationship with them so that you feel comfortable to be open with them and ask all your questions while at the same time enabling them to tailor treatment to your specific needs.
Your primary care GP can do more than treat you
Studies show that having one primary care GP who coordinates the care you receive, results in the best health outcomes. Your primary care GP can lead the team that takes care of your health. They can also help you:
- Keep up to date on your vaccinations
- Make lifestyle decisions to keep you healthy (like managing stress, or healthy eating habits)
- By checking health measures such as blood pressure that can show if you're at risk of becoming ill
- Manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Take care of your mental health, and refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist if needed
- Find your way through the healthcare system
- See a specialist that matches your needs and then discuss the specialist's findings with you
- Keep track of your and your family's medical history.
How to find a primary care GP
There are many ways to find a GP that's a good fit for you. One way is to speak to people you trust, like friends or family members, to find out who their GP is and what they're like. You can also ask other healthcare professionals like a pharmacist, nurse or dentist who they recommend.
Or you can let us help you. Our Find a provider service on the website or Discovery app lets you find a GP who is close to you, and you can check if they're part of our network. GPs who are part of our network not only charge our rates, they also offer quality care. You can also use our search tool to find out if a GP someone else recommends is in our network.
So, what are you waiting for? Find the primary care GP you want to accompany you on your life and health journey.
Cleveland Clinic. The Importance of having a primary care doctor. Accessed 28 September 2021.
HealthPartners. 5 reasons why you need a primary care doctor. Accessed 28 September 2021.
Mayo Clinic. The importance of a primary care provider. Accessed 28 September 2021.
Temple Health. Why it's important to see your doctor. Accessed 28 September 2021.