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Man confused by health information

Looking for health advice? Start by talking to your primary care doctor.

Sep 20, 2021 Family Medicine Share:

Want some health advice from the internet?

Don't get your health advice from the internet.

There's a lot of health information out there. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Ever since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve had to interpret a lot of new medical information. There are all kinds of opinions about the right thing to do for your health, and it can be confusing to know what the best choice is for you personally as well as for public health in general.

Fortunately, your primary care doctor is a great resource for when you’re not sure what to do for your health. We’re here to discuss some reasons why it’s more important than ever to talk with your doctor

Your primary care doctor is your partner for better health

Your primary care doctor isn’t just there for you when you’re sick or when you need a check-up. Your doctor is there to help you live a healthier life. Because your primary care doctor cares about your total health, their goal is to support you not just in not getting sick, but in actually being well.

There are plenty of competing messages out there about what it means to be healthy. But your health is personal. Only you and your doctor can determine what wellness looks like for you in the context of your specific health needs and goals. That’s why your doctor is your perfect partner when you want to improve your health. Your primary care doctor can help you develop a plan for wellness that addresses your medical history and your lifestyle.

And when you’re not feeling well, you don’t have to figure out how to get better on your own. Your primary care doctor can both provide immediate care as well as point you in the direction of any specialized care that you may need. For example, if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, your primary care doctor can help with non-pharmaceutical interventions, prescribe you supportive medication, and can even point you in the direction of a good therapist. And they can support you as your mental health needs evolve through follow-up appointments and through telehealth check-ins.

Your primary care doctor has your best interests at heart. In fact, they’re bound by oath to do no harm and can serve as an advocate for you no matter what your health needs may be.

Your primary care doctor has the expert advice you need

If you don’t have a background in medicine, health news can be confusing, especially in the context of Covid-19. It can be hard to know what’s true, what’s political spin, and what’s misinformation. But you don’t have to try to figure it all out on your own. Your primary care doctor can help you interpret the news and make informed decisions about your health.

It’s important to get advice from people who are experts in their field. You probably don’t ask your car mechanic for advice on how to landscape your yard. You’d ask your mechanic for help with your car and a landscaper for advice on your yard. In the same way, you probably shouldn’t get your medical advice from the internet.

It’s your primary care doctor’s job to stay up-to-date on medical news, trends, and treatments so they can sort through the data and provide their patients with helpful insight and advice. If you’re feeling confused about anything medical - whether it’s a vaccine, a new medication, or even a weight loss plan - it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Your primary care doctor is also a safe person to ask those awkward questions you have about your health. While it may be a little less intimidating to ask Alexa, you can trust the answers you get from your doctor. No question is too strange or too dumb for your doctor; their office is a judgment-free zone. Most doctors really want to be good listeners and support their patients.

Additionally, your primary care doctor is a great person to go to when you’re looking for health education. They can point you to helpful resources whether you’re looking to learn more about a chronic condition or want to become more knowledgeable about health concerns that are in the news. By providing you with helpful educational resources, your primary care doctor can empower you to make your own informed health decisions.

Your primary care doctor knows you

Everyone is different, and everyone’s body is different. Your priorities and medical needs won’t be exactly the same as anyone else. That’s why medical care needs to be personal. As you develop a relationship with a primary care doctor, they get to know you both as a patient and as a person, providing a context for your healthcare.

While this process does take time, it doesn’t have to take years. Even by seeing your doctor a couple of times in a given year, your doctor can get to know you and your priorities better. As you continue to see your doctor over the years, they’re even better able to provide personalized, relationship-based care.

This is so important because medicine is highly individualized. Every body will respond to medications and treatments differently, so you should always be wary of blanket medical advice that’s for “everyone”. A treatment that works well for one person, or even most people, may not be effective or appropriate for you. Your primary care doctor can help you choose treatment plans based on your medical history and how you’ve responded to interventions or treatments. This context is essential when making decisions about your health.

What if you don't have a primary care doctor?

It can be hard to get this kind of individualized healthcare if you’re hopping from urgent care clinic to urgent care clinic whenever you get sick. Finding a primary care doctor is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health.

If you’re looking for a true partner in your healthcare, now is the time to establish care with a primary care doctor. Don’t wait until you get sick to find a primary care doctor; do this when you’re well. But if you have ongoing or chronic medical conditions, it’s not too late to find a doctor.

But if you need help today, you can still talk to a doctor about your health concerns. If you visit an urgent care clinic that’s staffed with board-certified physicians, they can listen to you and answer your questions from a medical perspective. They can even give advice, but it won’t be the same kind of individualized advice that your primary care doctor could give you.

While MedHelp clinics are great for your urgent care needs, we also provide relationship-based primary care. Unlike other urgent care clinics that may provide primary care services from their urgent care doctors, our primary care doctors can become your medical home base.

If you’ve been an urgent care patient with us before, many of our urgent care doctors also provide primary care and are accepting new patients. If you liked your doctor, they can also become your primary care doctor. And if you need help finding a new doctor, we can help you choose a physician that fits your schedule and meets your needs.

Need a primary care doctor?

Now’s the perfect time to establish a relationship with a primary care doctor. Board-certified primary care doctors are accepting new patients at MedHelp. We can help you choose a doctor that fits your schedule and meets your needs.

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