All of your symptoms indicate you have a sinus infection. You have options. Is your next step a walk-in or urgent care clinic? A virtual visit where you video chat with a doctor? A call to your doctor’s office?

Technology is changing how we receive health care, particularly for younger generations. A 2017 survey of more than 3,000 people found millennials prefer walk-in clinics or telemedicine (using technology to communicate with a doctor) and are more than twice as likely to choose those options for care. Another nationwide survey found 61 percent of millennials visited a primary care physician, compared with 80 percent of baby boomers and 85 percent of seniors. Health care decisions are increasingly about convenience, but if you’re already connected to a particular health system, you’ll have an advantage.

1. Being connected is convenient

Getting established with a primary care doctor ensures all of your records are in one place and are instantly accessible throughout the health system. You’ll save time because your doctor knows you and your health history. He or she knows all about the medications and supplements you’re taking and is aware of possible interactions with a new prescription.

It’s about convenience and rapport. Patients should trust their doctor and vice versa. Primary care doctors efficiently move through whatever problems or concerns patients may have. In many cases, we can minimize testing because we stay connected and see how your condition progresses. This can be a very different experience than what someone who goes into an emergency department, urgent care or walk-in clinic gets.

2. On the fast-track to see a specialist

When you need to see a specialist, your primary care doctor can help coordinate that care. When you’re established in a health system, your primary care doctor can fast-track you through the system to help you get an appointment sooner. In some cases, the primary care team may be able to save the patient a visit to a specialist, through what is called an electronic consultation, or e-consult. The primary care doctor connects with the specialist for the patient and gets the specialist up to speed on the patient’s situation. The specialist makes a recommendation for care, which the primary care team communicates to the patient.

Establishing yourself with a primary care doctor get you that ease of access to the larger health care system, including the advantage of academic medicine if your provider is with the Froedtert & MCW health network. This way, when you’re sick, we can help you get the care you need easily and quickly.

3. Staying healthy with preventative care

A primary care doctor's job is about more than helping you get better when you’re sick, preventive care is just as important. Annual wellness visits and routine screenings can detect risk factors for chronic diseases or conditions, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The screenings are used to find or manage diseases and conditions such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Your primary care doctor will also help develop a prevention or treatment plan.

If you’re healthy, we want to keep you that way. Regular health checkups help you pick up and detect illnesses and conditions that are common and treatable and help you head them off.

Find the best doctor for you and your family.

Primary Care