Beyond check-ups: Why it’s important to have a Primary Care Physician

Having a Primary Care Physician is important to overall quality-of-life and for ensuring proper longterm care, according to Dr. Nanette Alexander-Thomas of One Brooklyn Health.

Primary Care Physicians are more than just doctors — they’re an anchor for those looking for quality, personalized health care.

From managing stress-related issues to proactive preventive care, having a reliable relationship with your PCP is a lifeline during turbulent health periods. They’re not just there for appointments; they’re your partner in keeping you at your best, especially when times get tough.

According to Dr. Nanette Alexander-Thomas of One Brooklyn Health, it’s never been more important to have a PCP.

“A Primary Care Physician is usually a graduate of a residency program in either internal or family medicine — they’re taught a broad scope of medicine,” she told Brooklyn Paper. “So, when a patient presents, they’re able to have a full understanding of what’s going on.”

PCPs can treat both simple and moderately complex issues, Dr. Alexander-Thomas said, and they can always refer for further care if necessary. And above all else, the care is personalized.

“They’re there for preliminary screenings, vaccinations, vitals, and can manage all of your chronic conditions,” she said. “And they’ll know which direction to point you in.”

Dr. Nanette Alexander-Thomas of One Brooklyn Health talks the importance of having a Primary Care Physician.Photo courtesy of One Brooklyn Health

While some people simply don’t know the benefits of having a PCP, the reason not everyone has one is “two-fold,” Dr. Alexander-Thomas said. Inequitable access to Primary Care Physicians remains a pressing issue, with certain communities facing significant barriers to healthcare.

“There are people who don’t understand the importance, and then there are those who don’t have the resources — they may not be insured, they may be undocumented; something else is standing in their way,” she said.

And that’s where One Brooklyn Health comes in.

“One of the things we do at One Brooklyn Health is we do a tremendous amount of outreach to individuals who may have been assigned to us from their insurance companies and who may not fully understand how critical it is to have someone get to know their issues and to have that personal connection,” she said.

According to Dr. Alexander-Thomas, the healthcare system’s three different sites — Brookdale, Kingsbrook and Interfaith — make it easy to find a PCP.

“It’s important to find the site that works best for you,” Dr. Alexander-Thomas said. “All of the providers have been fully credentialed, most are board certified and a lot of them have been with the hospital for over 30 years. They are definitely attune to the community, and they are committed to providing excellent health care.”

Having a Primary Care Physician is a cornerstone of proactive and personalized healthcare. Beyond the routine check-ups, a PCP becomes a trusted partner in navigating the complexities of one’s health.

In a world where health is paramount, establishing and nurturing a relationship with a Primary Care Physician is more than just a medical choice — it’s a commitment to longterm health and happiness.

To find a Primary Care Physician through One Brooklyn Health, visit onebrooklynhealth.org.