As health care in the United States evolves, we hear a lot of talk about having a primary care provider. Many people think that if they’re healthy, there’s no reason to have a primary care provider (PCP). But a main or primary doctor can serve as a trusted medical advisor and healer as he or she cares for your health over a long period of time – even a lifetime.
Your PCP’s role is to:
Choosing a PCP may be the most important step in proactively caring for your health. Your PCP is your main monitor and provider of routine care. He or she provides services such as: an annual physical; immunizations; routine tests needed at various stages of life; and overall, monitors your health and diagnoses and treats medical problems that arise. If needed, your PCP can refer you to a specialist if a serious illness requiring special management is necessary.
Your PCP has in-depth knowledge about your health history, past injuries or illnesses, allergies, and risk factors for certain diseases etc.; therefore, if you were to develop a serious condition, he or she will be able to serve as the main facilitator for other physicians who may then be involved in your care.
There are several different types of PCPs:
Because your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, it’s important to select someone with whom you will work well. Consider the following:
If you’ve been putting off finding a PCP who can oversee all of your medical needs, make it a goal this New Year. Click here to find a doctor near you today.
Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information to facilitate conversations with their physician.
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