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Four Reasons You Need a Primary Care Provider (PCP)

Find out now why it’s so important to have a primary care provider (PCP) who can help you and your loved ones get and stay healthy.

June 02, 2017 | HF Healthy Living Team

This Men’s Health Month, it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and to remind your loved ones—including the men in your life—to get the checkups they need to stay healthy. A primary care provider, or PCP, can help you achieve that.

Find out more now about what a PCP does, the different types of PCPs, and why you need one.

What Does a PCP Do?

A primary care provider, or PCP, is your main provider or your family’s main provider and is an important person when it comes to getting healthy.

Even if you’re already healthy or feeling healthy, you still need a PCP. Why? Because a PCP can help you stay healthy by taking care of most of your non-emergency health needs. That includes:

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What Are the Different Types of PCPs?

A PCP is often a medical doctor, but he or she might also be a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Some PCPs might have a particular focus, such as:

  • Family practitioners, who offer care to people of all ages, from children to adults
  • Pediatricians, who offer care to children under the age of 18, including babies, children, and adolescents
  • Geriatricians, who offer care to older adults and concentrate on diseases related to aging
  • Internists, who offer care for all ages and concentrate on the prevention and treatment of diseases
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists, who offer care for women or people of childbearing age and beyond

Why It’s Important to Have a PCP

A PCP is important to have for a number of reasons. Consider:

Reason #1: A PCP Knows Your Health. Your PCP will have an understanding of your medical history, your family medical history, and personal habits, and can tailor solutions that are specific to your health. In other words, this is someone who knows you—and your needs—well.

Reason #2: A PCP Can Coordinate Your Care. Do you have a specific condition or disease, take a medicine, or need a referral to see a specialist? Your doctor can create a plan and organize care to help you stay in control of your health.

Reason #3: A PCP Can Keep You Healthy. Yes, a PCP can help make you better when you’re sick. But what about helping to prevent sickness before it starts? Your PCP is the main person who can give you vaccines, such as flu shots, and screenings that can help keep diseases and other illnesses away.

Reason #4: A PCP Can Save You Time and Money. When a PCP knows your health history, care can be delivered to you promptly. If you’re in need of a specialist, ask your doctor for an in-network referral to help keep costs down. You can also ask your PCP’s office to make a specialist appointment for you in order to help save time.

Not sure how to choose a PCP? Get tips on how to find the right one now!


© 2017 HF Management Services, LLC

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

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.

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