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The Health Benefits of Seeing the Same Doctor for your Appointments

2 June 2021

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Did you know that research from the U.K shows that seeing the same doctor each time is beneficial for your health?

Practitioner continuity is associated with reductions in mortality, higher patient satisfaction and fewer hospital admissions, according to a 2019 NHS England-funded Nuffield Trust report into access and continuity.1

In addition, a 2018 study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School looked at the relationship between death rates and ‘continuity of care’, or the repeated contact between a person and their doctor.2

Researchers took a look at 22 studies from 9 countries, each with different health systems. Out of these, 18 studies found that regular contact with the same doctor resulted in fewer deaths over the study period.

The benefits applied to visits to GPs and specialists and were seen across different cultures and health systems. University of Exeter researchers said the human aspect of medical practice was “potentially life-saving” but had been neglected.

GPs’ leaders said they recognised the value of patients seeing “their own” doctor.

Because of intense workforce pressures, however, this could mean waiting even longer for an appointment, the Royal College of GPs said.

Continuity of care is known to be particularly beneficial for patients with chronic conditions, long-term mental health issues and complex needs.

When it comes to weight management, seeing the same professionals – especially medical professionals – for each of your questions, concerns, and check-ins will establish a partnership between you and them. You’ll grow to trust them with your insecurities and hang-ups, allowing you to work together to find real, lasting solutions based on your own situation. The more you can integrate your nutrition, physical activity, and physical/mental health care, the easier maintaining your weight management for a lifetime becomes.

References

1. https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/files/2019-01/improving-access-and-continuity-in-general-practice-evidence-review-final-update-01-2019.pdf

2. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/6/e021161

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