Why a Primary Care Provider is Important
A Primary Care Provider, or Primary Care Physician (PCP) is what most people just call “their doctor.” A PCP is a generalist, not a specialist. A PCP is usually board certified in either internal medicine or family medicine, though pediatricians and gynecologists can also be considered PCPs.
Your PCP is the best place to start when you need any type of health care.
He or she can take care of your preventive care, diagnose diseases and illnesses, and help you find the right specialists when you need them. They’ll help you navigate the health care system so you can concentrate on your health. And, as in the example above, they can work with any specialists you have and put all the pieces together to get the “big picture” of your health.
The health care system is very complicated, and in many ways, uncoordinated.
If you see one doctor for your heart problems (a cardiologist) and another for a rash on your skin (a dermatologist), these two doctors don’t know about each other. But what if your rash has something to do with your heart problems? Without a PCP looking at “the big picture,” this connection may never be noticed.