As a young adult woman, life becomes more hectic with new responsibilities and changes. You’re very busy these days, and dedicating time to establishing with a primary care provider can be challenging, especially if you work during daytime hours and/or are actively raising a family.
Here are four reasons why it is important to develop a relationship with a primary care provider now:
1. CARE THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME
A primary care provider can provide a wide variety of health care services. Family medicine providers, in particular, can care for you from birth and beyond with:
- Maternity care
- Acute or same-day care
- Emergency care
- Hospital medicine care
2. KNOWS YOU AND YOUR HEALTH GOALS
The provider-patient relationship is valuable, and having a primary care provider who knows you and your medical history well can improve your experience as a patient and help you achieve your goals faster.
3. HELPS YOU STAY HEALTHY
If you have not established care with a primary care provider, you are missing out on important preventive care, crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Young women should be seen for:
- Physical exams
- Lifestyle counseling
- Vaccination updates
- Lab testing, if indicated
- Intermittent pap smears (age 21+) to screen for cervical cancer
Preventive testing screens for chronic medical conditions, and in some cases, can help providers to diagnose conditions in the early stages before you even begin having symptoms.
4. COORDINATES SPECIALTY CARE
Primary care providers can make specialty referrals, when appropriate, as well as coordinate specialty care. After being seen by a specialist, the primary care provider will:
- Receive results from your visit and can continue help coordinate your care
- Ensure all of your providers are on the same page
- Help you to understand your diagnosis and treatment plan
The hope for the future is for young adults to establish with a primary care provider to focus on self-care and preventive care throughout life.