Get Healthy 502- The Importance of a Primary Care Physician

Why you should have a primary care provider:

  1. A relationship with a primary care provider is good for you.
    1. One of the most important investments you can make
    2. Consistent visits with the same provider leads to familiarity
    3. Build trust; open and honest communication
    4. No retelling of your story each time
    5. Convenient
  2. A strong patient-primary care provider relationship leads to better health outcomes
    1. Keystone of health care
    2. Can help avoid ER visits and hospital admissions
    3. Saves $$ on out of pocket health care
  3. A primary care provider:
    1. Addresses overall health; works to improve your health
    2. Knows who & how to refer you to additional care you may need
      1. Specialist
      2. Mental health
      3. Social Services
    3. Tracks your progress
  1. Signs of a good provider
    1. Ask questions to gather information; listen
    2. Develop a beneficial relationship
    3. Share information
    4. Available appointments


Types of Visits: What to expect

  1. Annual wellness exam to discuss prevention and wellness; health maintenance
    1. Vaccines, screening tests & routine exams (flu, breast, prostate …)
    2. Family history
    3. Discuss your health goals: lifestyle changes
    4. Update prescriptions and non-prescription medicines
  1. Sick Visit
    1. Single problem can be complex; may require additional visits
    2. Note all issues prior to visit; allows provider and patient to prioritize symptoms, determine if problems are related, focus on main issues and maximize office visit
      1. Location – where does it hurt?
      2. Duration – when did it start; is it consistent?
      3. Description – what are the specific symptoms: cough; sore throat; shoulder pain; …?
      4. Intensity – dull or sharp? Does pain interrupt your daily life? What makes it better or worse?
  1. Follow-Up Visit
    1. Important to monitor progress
      1. Sometimes change is slow, but your provider can detect this change.
    2. Have your symptoms changed?
    3. Are you having side effects?
  1. Routine visit for chronic conditions
    1. Are you happy with treatment?
    2. Are you having any side effects from treatment?
    3. Does your treatment last throughout the day?
    4. Do you need medication refills?
    5. Does your condition appear to be getting better or worse?
    6. Is any lab work needed?
    7. Have lifestyle changes had an impact?
  1. Virtual visits
    1. Sick visits, follow-up and even chronic condition checks
  1. Other
    1. Value of MyChart
      1. Schedule medical appointments
      2. View health summary
      3. View test results
      4. Request prescription refill
      5. Access trusted health information resources
      6. Communicate with your health care provider
    2. Arriving on time for your appointment
    3. Follow-up after hospital discharge


Norton also offers COVID testing (and flu shots). The link to register for a slot at our drive-up clinics in west Louisville and Hikes Point can be found at

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