What Is a Primary Care Provider or Physician?
A primary care provider, or primary care physician (PCP), is what most people simply call their “doctor.” PCPs ensure that patients get the right care, in the right setting, by the most appropriate provider, and in a manner consistent with their desires and values. Primary care is usually provided in an outpatient setting, such as in a clinic. However, if you are admitted to the hospital, your PCP may assist in or direct your care, depending on the circumstances.
Why Do I Need a Primary Care Provider?
A primary care provider can help you in the following ways:
- Help you stay healthy and well throughout your lifetime
- Help you make decisions about your health and wellness
- Help you with preventive care (healthcare that includes health screenings, routine check-ups, shots, labs, etc.)
- Identify and treat common diseases and illnesses
- Refer you to a specialist, if you need additional care
What Are Some Benefits of Primary Care?
Having a primary care provider is beneficial for the following reasons:
- You have someone you trust helping you with your healthcare.
- You don't have to spend time going over medical history or personal issues, because your primary care provider is already aware of any concerns.
- Your primary care provider will work with you to create a healthcare plan that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
- Your primary care provider may recognize health changes that you have not noticed and keep you up-to-date with annual exams, screenings and shots.