Is Your Primary Care Physician Your Head Coach?

I’m a sports fan and especially love to read about head coaches. There’s a lot more than one would think that goes into being a great head coach. So, what does this have to do with your primary care physician? Well, I like to think of this doctor as your head coach. In one of my favorite books on caregiving, Passages in Caregiving, author Gail Sheehy forms the image of her husband’s primary care physician as his head coach in his battle with cancer. I think this is an excellent analogy. When we’re dealing with serious or multiple health concerns, many healthcare providers become involved in caring for us. Each specialist, therapist, etc. has a piece of the puzzle to help you. However, it’s important to have one person, hopefully your primary care physician, making the calls to ensure no details are missed. This person is acting as your coach, calling the plays and making sure the team is acting as one. This physician can take on the responsibility of making sure all necessary tests and screenings are done, medications are up to date and safe, and knowing your goals for treatment. For myself, one of the most important reasons I use my PCP as my head coach is that she knows me, and has known me for over 15 years. She understands my goals, my family situation, and who I am as a person. It can be hard to find the right PCP. Not every physician has the right personality or practice for you. You should feel listened to and treated like an individual. Your PCP should be checking in with you to make sure they are not only up to date on your health, but that they understand what’s important to you in terms of your treatment.

Like any good coach, your PCP has the big picture in mind, your good health. Take a moment to think about your PCP, is he/she the right fit for you? Is it time to reconnect with them?

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
—Jimmy Johnson, Head coach, Dallas Cowboys (1989-93), Miami Dolphins (1996-99)

Is your Primary Care Physician Extraordinary? I hope so!

Written by: Sarah Benson, CMC
Lead Care Manager
ElderTree Care Manager