Having a primary care physician benefits your overall health


SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – If you don’t go to the doctor at least once a year, you aren’t going enough according to one Siouxland physician.

Dr. Stephen Pallone said having a Primary Care Physician like himself allows someone to check on your overall health and provide preventative care.

“So there’s a lot of things to do with preventative care, from cancer screenings to cholesterol screenings, blood pressure screenings, and those kinds of things, just to try and keep people healthy. And then managing the common chronic illnesses like hypertension, or high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, even COPD,” said Dr. Pallone, a family physician at UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine.

When it comes to visiting the doctor, just like children, adults should be checking in at least once a year.

“Healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 40. gets that you can sort of stretch it a little bit that’s not really encouraged. We’re mostly screening for blood pressure and cholesterol at that point, as well as trying to really emphasize healthy lifestyle choices. People who have their annual wellness visits generally are better off in terms of their health in the long run as well,” said Dr. Pallone.

Dr. Pallone said you want to have a primary care physician who isn’t a stranger to you. Having a good relationship with your doctor makes a difference in what treatment you receive.

“Having a primary care physician, particularly one that you’ve known for years and have an established relationship with is really useful for having an advocate within the system and helping people to negotiate it,” said Dr. Pallone.

So how do you go about getting a primary care doctor if you don’t already have one? Dr. Pallone said just shop around. Ask family and friends who they see, and what they like about the doctor. More importantly: check to make sure the doctor is covered under your insurance as an in-network provider.

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