Finding a reliable and trustworthy primary care physician may be one of the most important things you can do for your overall health.
There is constant pressure in the health care industry for physicians to see as many patients as possible, especially in Kentucky where we face a serious physician shortage ahead. But, research shows that not only overall satisfaction, but also health outcomes of patients improve when they are able to see their physician for a more extended period. The largest group of physicians in a recent survey, roughly 30 percent, were spending between 13 and 16 minutes with each patient, allowing them a better opportunity to notice the subtle signs and symptoms of disease and health problems in their patients.
Finding a primary care physician who will spend the time to know your unique health history will ensure that you have an advocate for your health, who will consult with you and urge you to make necessary changes of diet, exercise or lifestyle. It's our job as physicians to help you — not to scold you or intimidate you — but to give you the tools you need to manage your health.
As primary care physicians, we spend a tremendous amount of time encouraging patients to take command of their health. In a state with poor health statistics like Kentucky, prevention is more important than ever.
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Sometimes all a patient needs is for the physician to sit down and get them involved in their care plan. A family care physician should take time to carefully examine a patient's diet and exercise habits and look for small, attainable steps to improve them. It is also important to be sure that you understand medications and how to take them as prescribed.
The key is to find a physician who will not just preach about the things you should be doing, but take time to understand you and identify tools to help.