One local primary care physician says it's not a good thing to only go to an immediate care facility when you're sick and not see a doctor regularly.
In fact, there are several reasons to have a primary care doctor. Usually it's to avoid having to go to the emergency room or immediate care facilities.
Luis Rodriguez is a family doctor at the Portneuf Primary Care Clinic. He said his goal is to oversee the general health of all his patients.
"The objective is to improve the health outcomes. That's the goal,” Rodriguez said. “And to do that, the center of care should be focused on the patient."
But if the patient isn't seen regularly or sees immediate care facilities instead... That affects the kind of care your primary physician can give you. That doesn't mean you should avoid immediate care facilities, however, as they have their purpose.
"Lacerations, cuts, sinus infections and small injuries are perfect for an immediate care facility," said Nicole Manning, a physician assistant with Priority Care in Pocatello.
Manning said they won't just treat your temporary condition. They will tell your primary physician about what you needed help with.
"That's common courtesy,” she said. “If they have a standing primary care physician that they go to, we'll always communicate with them so there's proper follow-up."
Both Manning and Rodriguez say that's where your primary care physician comes in. They complete the circle of healthcare and ensure you are at 100 percent.
"There are a lot of medical problems that we can ignore and probably pretend we don't have,” Rodriguez said, “but in primary care we are trained in prevention."
Cost is always going to be a factor for a lot of people when it comes to healthcare. But both said a primary care doctor is vital. They can diagnose things if they see changes over a period of time and keep you out of urgent care facilities as a regular visitor.
The Primary Care Clinic just opened this October and is currently accepting new patients.