What is a PCP? Why do you need one? And how do you find the one that’s right for you? We’ve got some tips to help you.
A primary care provider, or PCP, is your main provider. A PCP is often a medical doctor, but he or she might also be a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or other medical professional.
Your PCP will help you with most of your non-emergency health needs. You will visit your PCP for your annual checkups, when you’re sick, to help you manage a health condition, or if you need a referral or recommendation for a specialist. Your PCP can also help you to stay healthy with a diet or fitness plan, prescribe and help you manage your medicines, give you the recommended screenings and tests you may need, and help answer any questions you may have.
Just as with your child’s doctor, your PCP is an important person when it comes to getting and staying healthy. So consider the following questions carefully. The answers can help you make the right choice for you.
Remember: if the provider you choose isn’t right for you, talk to him or her to see whether your concerns can be addressed. If they cannot, use it as a chance to find another provider who may be a better fit. You have options.
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This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
“Choosing a primary care provider,” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Updated August 14, 2015.