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The new year is here, and while you think about your resolutions for 2020, don’t forget your health. Now is the perfect time to schedule a doctor’s visit or establish care with a new physician if you’ve recently moved or haven’t been in a while.

Annual physicals are critical for preventing illness through screenings and immunizations. Don’t wait until you’re sick to see a doctor. A primary care doctor can help you take control of your health by providing the information and resources you need to stay well.

In addition, establishing a trusting relationship with a primary care doctor can be beneficial in the future if you ever need to be referred to a specialist for issues like heart disease. Having a primary care doctor physician who sees you regularly makes referrals faster and easier.

A great way to get established at a new practice is by seeing a nurse practitioner. Certified NPs are great health allies. They can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication and offer health counseling and education. Many patients prefer an NP for their primary care. As nurses, NPs have in-depth training in patient communication, engagement and building an ongoing, empathetic relationship.  And in many clinics, the waiting time for an appointment with a certified NP is less than with an M.D.

Before making a first doctor’s visit of 2020, remember to do your research. If you are looking for a new doctor, ask family and friends for recommendations.  Also, make sure to check that your doctor accepts your current insurance, even if you’ve seen the doctor before. Physician and insurance partnerships can change from one year to the next.

UCF Health offers primary care services at both the East Orlando and Lake Nona clinics. You can schedule same-day appointments with our nurse practitioners online at

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