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