Richmond University
Medical Center
355 Bard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10310
(718) 818-1234

Guest Blogger >> Daniel J. Messina, Ph.D., FACHE
Daniel J. Messina, Ph.D., FACHE, is the President & CEO of Richmond University Medical Center. A native Staten Islander, Dr. Messina is a seasoned executive with  three decades of healthcare leadership expertise. Prior to joining Richmond University in 2014, he served 13 years as the System COO of CentraState Healthcare System in New Jersey. Dr. Messina received his B.S. from LIU-Brooklyn and an M.P.A. in Healthcare Administration from LIU-Post. He obtained his Ph.D. in Health Sciences and Leadership at Seton Hall University.

Primary Care Doctors:
The Cornerstone of Your Health

If you’re like most people, chances are that you’d like to live a longer, healthier life, avoid unnecessary tests, surgeries and trips to the emergency room and pay lower  healthcare bills. While this may seem unachievable to you, the path to keeping yourself healthy and cutting costs is easier than you’d expect.

Do you have a primary care doctor? Having regularly scheduled appointments with a primary care physician can help you to manage your current and future health,  lower your overall health care costs and provide you with a higher level of satisfaction with your care. A major benefit of having a primary care physician is that all your health records and information are in one central place. Your carefully selected primary care doctor will know everything there is to know about your medical history — from the medications you take, to any diseases you may have as well as any health issues that may run in your family. While you may feel uncomfortable visiting the doctor at first, it’s important to note that developing a relationship and communicating openly with your primary care doctor will allow him or her to provide you with the best possible care and will help ease your nerves. Having this kind of relationship with your doctor will also ensure that any other physician and medical staff within the practice will know your medical and family history. Your “health care team” will be able to detect patterns more easily, effectively and quickly, and can recommend lifestyle changes that can help to prevent any future complications requiring specialty care. Regularly visiting your primary physician helps to look out for your health and well-being for today and tomorrow.

And then there’s the convenience factor. Your physician will be there for you whether you’re experiencing physical, mental or emotional pain. It is a luxury to be able to make one simple appointment with a doctor and talk about a variety of health issues all in one timeslot. You should never wait too long to see a doctor or ignore symptoms; doing so can lead to a hospital stay or emergency roomvisit, which are expensive and overwhelming options for treatment. If your doctor thinks that you need to see a specialist, the good news is that he or she will come prepared with a plethora of other recommended doctors, should you need a referral. This is another reason why it’s so important to have an open relationship with your primary doctor; you will be able to ask them their honest opinion of specialists and trust their advice.

If you’re a sufferer of a chronic health condition, like lupus, arthritis or diabetes, you know that it can be difficult to monitor your health and treatment on your own.  Primary care doctors can help you stay organized and on top of your medications, treatments, tests and appointments. They can field any questions about symptoms you’re experiencing and help you manage your lifestyle alongside your illness. Primary care physicians will monitor how your chronic disease is affecting your body and quality of life with regularly scheduled appointments and routine tests.