Health & Wellness

Do People Have Primary Care Doctors Anymore? Should You?

May 26, 2020 By

In general terms, a primary care doctor is a physician who you see to handle your basic medical needs on an ongoing basis. Primary care doctors often perform physicals, check-ups, or other non-emergency care. In the old days, many people had a doctor they considered to be their go-to doctor. But the healthcare industry has changed quite a bit since then.

Do you see a primary care doctor?

If your answer is “no” or “not really,” you may be in the majority. Reliable data and research about primary care is hard to come by, so SteadyMD asked thousands of U.S. consumers some questions about their relationship to primary care.

When asked if they had a primary care doctor, 52% of respondents answered, “No, not really.” Among the remaining respondents, only 18% answered that they had a consistent primary care doctor. The others had only seen their doctor a few times.

Many people don’t have a primary care doctor in the traditional sense, meaning a real relationship with someone who knows them, their medical history, their family history, and their health goals.

Under what circumstances do you go to the doctor?

The U.S. healthcare system can be a hassle. The effort it takes to find an appointment that works for your schedule, time spent idling in waiting rooms, unexpected fees, and / or rushed care can turn even off the most health-minded person from seeing their doctor.

When asked, “How often do you see a doctor?” most people (57%) answered that they only do so when they’re sick or hurt. This is what is called “reactionary medicine” – treatment built around quickly alleviating symptoms, but not usually healing the root cause. Oftentimes, the results are only temporary. When used exclusively, this approach doesn’t account for the importance of long-term, preventative care.

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SteadyMD believes that you should have a doctor who can help you optimize your health, not just avoid sickness. A trusting relationship with a dedicated SteadyMD doctor is like an investment in your long-term health. The service is designed to create a real, trusting patient-doctor relationship, a critical part of care has become largely overlooked in mainstream healthcare.

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