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You've heard primary care is important, but why?

| Healthy You

Regular checkups with a PCP are a gateway to good health.

Primary care providers play a key role in helping people stay healthy.

When you’re sick or injured, do you call your provider or clinic?

That’s primary care. It’s basic and essential. And it’s a good first step to finding out what’s going on and how you can start feeling better. 

The value of primary care becomes especially clear when compared to other places people get care. Emergency rooms and hospitals are vital in caring for those with severe injuries or extreme illness. But they’re not set up to meet everyone’s everyday health needs for long.

Primary care, on the other hand, is the type of care geared toward helping families with a wide range of health concerns, day in and day out, throughout their lives.

“Your health and wellness are the priority in primary care,” said Sarah Winslow, MD, a provider with PeaceHealth Medical Group. 

Here’s why primary care is important:

  • Primary care helps you in sickness and in health. When you’re injured or not feeling your best, your PCP can treat you or refer you to a specialist who can. When you’re healthy, your PCP can help you set health goals and provide personalized tips.
  • Primary care can help you manage chronic conditions. If you have one or more conditions such as diabetes, depression or heart disease, your PCP can help you manage medications or other treatments. They can also be a source of encouragement. 
  • Primary care can help you make sense of health news. If you’ve seen commercials for new medications or read items on health in your newsfeed, talk to your PCP for guidance you can trust.

Here are a few ways to make primary care work for yourself and your family:

  • Get regular check-ups. Seeing your PCP about once a year is a good way to share changes in your health and talk about preventive care. 
  • Get preventive care such as immunizations and screenings when they’re recommended or due. These can help you avoid getting sick and treat concerns early.
  • Use the My PeaceHealth patient portal. This online tool lets you see information about your medical care at PeaceHealth. You can also use it to request an appointment, send a message to your provider, pay your bill, review your health history and more. Learn about My PeaceHealth.

“Partnering with your PCP can really pay off in the long run,” said Dr. Winslow.

portrait of Sarah S. L. Winslow MD

Sarah S. L. Winslow MD

Preventive Medicine - Clinical Informatics
Family Medicine
Sarah Winslow, MD, is board certified by both the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine. She is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where she also earned a master’s degree in public health and completed her medical residency. Dr. Winslow has a special focus on lifestyle medicine. "I want to care for the whole person, helping foster healthy habits in my patients to prevent disease and minimize medications to help them live their best lives. It's important that we do more than just treat disease - we must help prevent our patients from getting ill in the first place." Dr. Winslow embraces the importance of healthy living, with a focus on fitness that includes running, hiking and weightlifting, along with meditation and yoga. She also enjoys writing and reading. If she weren't a physician Dr. Winslow says she would like to use her public health background to teach communities about healthier living and help address health disparities.