Why Do I need a Primary Care Physician

Press / News

Healthcare can be a confusing topic these days.  With all of the national and state changes, doctor visits, co-pays, insurance claims, specialist visits and follow-up appointments, many people tend to skip a regular health check-up with a primary care physician.

Why do I need a Primary Care Physician (PCP)?

Many patients have a variety of reasons for not having an established primary care physician.  Some don’t feel they need one. Some have specific needs and go straight to the specialist. 

Primary care physicians are critical to continued care and to prevention.  By seeing a doctor who knows your medical history well, it is easy to prevent the onset of illness and save time and money.

What does a PCP do?

A PCP coordinates your care from your initial visit and carries it through the course of your care.  Your initial evaluation and medical history are completed during the first visit.

Your primary doctor will diagnose and treat medical problems or if needed the patient will be referred to a specialist.  The specialist will send consultation notes to the primary care doctor to review so that your complete file is available in one place.

What are the benefits of a PCP?

All of your care begins with this main physician, the PCP.  He or she is the one who coordinates and directs your care and is the contact physician for the initial and follow-up visits.

I am good at researching.  Why should I let a PCP choose my specialists?

Of course, you are always able to select a specialist on your own.  However your trusted PCP knows the community or local specialists and is familiar with the credentials and qualifications of the specialists that he/she refers.  So, you can have confidence in the choice.

How should I choose my PCP?

First and foremost, determine if the doctor (specialist) is in network with your provider (PCP) that you choose. Also make sure they accept the insurance plan you have chosen. Then consider how close the doctor’s office is to your home or workplace. Make sure you visit the office and talk to the staff to determine your compatibility and your comfort with the office dynamic. You can also research physician’s credentials on many websites.

It is up to you to do research and to see if this is what you want.