Do you have a personal physician?

The Doctor’s Note: Do you have a personal physician?

Do you have a personal physician? A personal physician is one you trust with your health, which should be one of your most precious possessions. This person listens to you and collaborates with you on health care decisions. Today, physicians typically work in teams and every member of your physician’s team is dedicated to you.

A study published in Health Affairs revealed that more than one-fourth of all non-urgent care visits happen in the emergency room rather than with a personal physician. Your personal physician is better prepared to manage uncomplicated non-urgent care visits, and to ensure appropriate continuity and coordination of care for you.

A personal physician is your partner, whether you are focused on maintaining your health, treating an acute illness or managing multiple chronic diseases. With the benefit of time, your physician knows your medical history and your personal health goals. Establishing a relationship with a personal physician is a wise investment for you and for your family members.


Michael Atwood, M.D., CHIE, is the vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. He is a board certified family physician and an American Academy of Family Physicians fellow.

BCBSKS members – find a physician near you on the BCBSKS website and check out Dr. Atwood’s previous blog post on when you should head to the emergency room.

Note: Since the date of this publication, Dr. Atwood has retired from BCBSKS.

23 thoughts on “The Doctor’s Note: Do you have a personal physician?

  1. I have a country doctor that is not in the big city networks and I think he walks on water and he knows me from top to bottom and cares about me like no one else ever could. He sends me to specialist when he feels it is needed and in turn I make sure he gets follow up reports to make sure he is allows in the loop. Thank you Dr. Michael Keehn – Netawaka, Kansas

  2. Mine has just announced a resignation. I am at a loss, being in a rural area and a distance from a city with health care for a senior citizen on Medicare. A bit of anxiety for sure.

    1. Perhaps you need to shop around for a different doctor. We have a PC in a large clinic and never have a problem getting in to see him when needed. I wouldn’t be without a PC.

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