Planning for a Healthy New Year: Importance of a Primary Care Provider

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Establishing a primary care provider (PCP) as early on in life as possible is extremely important, as they serve as an essential resource for developing and maintaining your healthcare goals. You should work with your PCP to have a baseline established and personal health history recorded throughout your life. If you ever come under the care of one or more specialists, PCPs can coordinate with them and review their recommendations to make sure nothing ‘slips through the cracks,’ such as identifying prescribed medications that may affect other existing conditions or medications.

PCPs also play a critical role in helping control chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes. If left uncontrolled, these health conditions can cause serious complications down the road, such as heart disease. By keeping these conditions properly monitored and controlled, individuals can significantly decrease personal, as well as overall, healthcare costs.

Most importantly, by establishing a PCP early on in life, patients develop a greater level of trust and relationship with their doctor. This is important, as patients need to be open about their health history and any sort of symptoms, in order for doctors to properly assess and treat their conditions. Without patient-provider trust, it is obviously more difficult for patients to be fully honest about their condition and factors that contribute to it.

Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers dedicated to educating and caring for individuals throughout the community in order to promote overall well being and good quality of life. Visit to access the network’s physician directory and find a primary care provider near you.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Ashany Sundaram is a family medicine specialist at Cornerstone Medical Center and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Sundaram received her Doctor of Medicine from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 2010. She completed her residency at Duke/SR-AHEC Family Medicine Residency in Fayetteville, NC in June 2014.