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What Does a PCP Shortage Mean for Your Health?

In both past and recent news, there has been discussion about the availability of primary care physicians. The question being asked is if there is a PCP shortage across the country-and the answer has been yes (there is). These are the doctors you see on a consistent basis, who get to know you and your medical history to best serve you. They are able to assist you on a wide range of problems, as well as refer you to specialists if the need arises.

If we’re seeing a decline in the number of these doctors, then you might be wondering what a PCP shortage mean for you and your health.

You will need to find a PCP alternative.
Visiting a PCP means you’re probably going to go to the same doctor’s office every time, see the same nurses, and have the same physician treat you. While this is beneficial, it’s not always possible, especially if you live in an area where you cannot find a doctor’s office accepting new patients. When this turns out the case, it is important to know about other resources available to you and for your health concerns. This might include visiting a walk-in or extended-hours health clinic.

You might have to rehash medical history.
Since a PCP is someone who gets to know you and your medical history over time, visits to the doctor are a little easier. They will have your medical history on file and in many cases, will be familiar with you as time goes on. This allows you to get prompt treatment and helps your doctor to offer you the best advice. If your doctor knows something hasn’t worked for you, they will have a better idea of what to suggest next time around.

Without this convenience, you may find yourself having to explain your medical past to any new doctor you end up visiting. This might require a little thinking on your part-you’ll have to mention any drug allergies or reactions, for example. As long as you take the time to explain important details of your health, your doctor will be able to help you just as good as any.  

It isn’t all bad, though.
If you haven’t been able to find a PCP, you can still enjoy a pleasant doctor’s office experience. Walk-in health clinics, such as PrimeCare in Conway, offer patients easily accessible care. Open later than traditional doctor’s offices, patients can come in during extended-hours and without an appointment. We offer a wide range of services, such as allergy testing, vaccinations, and treatment for common illnesses such as cold or flu.

While there is no denying the critical role PCP’s play in the healthcare industry, it is still important to note the value of other healthcare resources made available in the absence of attaining one to visit. If this is ever the case for you, or even if you just need a quick visit to get treated, PrimeCare in Conway has two locations available.