Not having a PCP can be dangerous to patients

  • Accenture reports that Gen Z and millennials are least likely to have a primary care physician.
  • Younger health consumers are not satisfied with the “status quo” of today’s healthcare.
  • At the heart of their needs are shorter wait times, cost and the need for personalized attention.
  • Can they really change healthcare or are they risking their health and wellbeing by not having a regular PCP?

You have to hand to younger generations. They are paying a lot for their employer health insurance and as such, they want what they want. The latest report from Accenture clearly shows that millennials and Gen Z are driving change but are they risking their own health in the process?

Why should you get yourself a primary care physician?

Having a primary care physician will keep you healthier as you age. Studies in numerous medical journals have confirmed this, including one in International Journal of Health Services which revealed that states with more primary care physicians per capita have better health outcomes, including fewer deaths from cancer, heart disease, or stroke. A separate study in the same journal suggests that an ample supply of primary care physicians is associated with a longer life span–if you add more primary care physicians to a community, the result is fewer premature deaths.

PCP’s provide continuity of care

Continuity of care means that you establish a relationship with a health care provider and you enhance that relationship year after year. This provider gets to know you and your health goals and helps you manage your overall progress. Continuity provides tangible benefits that have been proven to add up to better health.

Over the long term, a provider who knows your health history, your habits, and your personality can more easily recognize signs that indicate a potential change in your health. For example, if you complain of fatigue to a doctor who doesn’t know you, you might not be taken seriously – but your primary care doctor will be able to see that you aren’t your usual self.

But are doctors listening?

The real question is “are doctor’s listening to what patients really want” or are they conducting business as usual? The days of calling for an appointment, waiting for a week or longer and waiting for tests are ending. Millennials and Gen Z see them as huge time wasters and they prefer to do it all online.

I have also heard ALL generations say that they are tired of their physicians either not really listening to their concerns or spending enough time with them to really get to know their health and wellbeing.

Doctors are quick to tell us how DTC needs to end because it drives unnecessary Rx’s or of bad health advice but too many still have the God complex and need to learn how to be people persons.