Seeing the same doctor over and over again may improve longevity.
According to a study out of the University of Exeter, visiting the same doctor over and over again can play a role in lowering death rates. Researchers suggest that the "human aspect" is responsible for these life-saving benefits. While it is not uncommon for patients to swap doctors every year depending on which ones have available appointments or are closest to their workplaces or homes, sticking with the same general practitioner, or "seeing their own doctor" has a lot of value.
When looking for an explanation, some might suggest that seeing the same doctor allows for a more meaningful and established relationship to form so that the patient may feel like their health is in good hands. According to the Royal College of GPs, "intense workforce pressures could mean waiting even longer for an appointment." But research has also shown that continuity of care can particularly help patients that have long-term mental health problems, chronic health conditions, and more complicated health issues. Sir Denis Pereira Gray, a member of St. Leonard's GP practice in Exeter, explains that up until now, making sure patients see the doctors of their choosing felt more like "a matter of convenience or courtesy but now, it is clear it is about the quality of medical practice and is literally 'a matter of life and death'."