Seeing the Same Doctor May Help You Live Longer

Seeing the Same Doctor May Help You Live Longer | HealthSoul

With the growing trend of walk-in healthcare clinics, the days of visiting the same general practitioner for every ache and pain is quickly fading. Walk-in clinics provide no-appointment-needed convenience and are a practical option for minor after-hours’ care. But that does not mean they are always the best option in the long run.

In fact, a recent systematic review of medical research studies from nine countries found that having regularly seen the same general practitioner or specialist may help you live longer. Out of the 22 studies, 18 (81.8%) found that continuity of care – i.e., “repeated contact between an individual and the doctor” – was significantly associated with lower mortality. Past studies have also found several benefits associated with seeing the same general practitioner or specialists for the majority of your healthcare needs.

Continuity of care helps doctors and patients build a stronger grasp of each others’ beliefs and priorities, improves communication, both of which strengthens mutual trust and respect. With that, patients are more satisfied overall with the care that they receive and are more likely to follow their doctors’ medical advice.

Additionally, doctors who repetitively see the same patients gain accumulated knowledge, which is important to keep in mind when giving medical advice. Perhaps this is why these same patients were less likely to require hospital services and also have reduced mortality rates.

Choosing the Right Doctor for You

  1. Check Credentials. Doctors who are certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties have earned a medical degree through a qualifying school, completed several years of residency training, are licensed by the state in which they practice, and participate in continuing education. To see if a doctor is board certified, visit
  2. Check with your insurance. Make sure any doctor you choose is within your insurance company’s network.
  3. Check for referrals. This includes not only asking your friends or family members who they recommend but also who your general practitioner recommends when it comes to choosing a specialist.
  4. Check office policies. How long does it take to make a routine appointment? How long are patients generally in the waiting room? Can you get same-day appointments when needed? You may find you love your doctor but not the office’s policies. According to research, if the office wastes too much of your time, you may be less likely to make important appointments.
  5. Check Compatibility. As pointed out earlier, patients who feel comfortable with their doctor are more likely to follow instructions, which in turn leads to better health overall. There are several things to think about when visiting a doctor for the first time. How well did the doctor listen to you? How well did the doctor answer your questions? How well did the doctor explain your diagnosis and treatment? And so on.


In the long run, finding and maintaining a doctor you can build a professional relationship with is important to ensure you receive the best quality of care available.