Choosing your primary care physician is an important part of your healthcare
routine. This is the healthcare professional you will see for most of
your preventative and medical care needs. When it is time for you to choose
your primary care physician, you want to make sure you understand their
role, what they can do for you, and why they are so important.
The Role of Your Primary Care Physician
The primary care physician—often referred to as a PCP—is the
doctor or nurse practitioner who will be there to help with all of the
basic healthcare needs. This means they are there to focus on your overall
health, recommend specific risk assessments or screenings, and helping
you if you are in need of a specialist. They can also assist with blood
tests and preventative care of your overall health.
The primary care physician is your main partner in your health and medical
care. They are often there for regular checkups and appointments during
which you may receive a number of different tests or screenings to help
prevent certain diseases or conditions.
Overall, the PCP can:
- Ensure you receive testing or assessments
- Provide you with information regarding a healthy lifestyle
- Set up referrals to medical specialists for various treatment options
- Determine if a situation is urgent and recommend proper action
The Different Types of PCPs
There are different types of primary care physicians depending on a number
of factors. For instance, a family medicine doctor is a PCP that cares
for individuals at all age levels from children to adults. Their practice
often includes minor surgery, obstetrics, and they may have certain specialties.
Internists usually provide care for adults throughout all ages, not focusing
on one specific medical problem.
A pediatrician provides healthcare for newborns, infants, and children.
Other types of primary care physicians include nurse practitioners and
physician assistants. These physicians go through a different training
and earn a different certification than doctors do, often playing a key
role in your healthcare needs.
What You Should Look For
Before you make your decision on a PCP, recognize their importance in your
life. They are your healthcare partner and will be there to help you make
important decisions. This means you need to know you’re choosing
the right one. Here are some things you should look for when picking your
primary care physician:
In-network. Make sure they are covered by your insurance so you’re not left
paying the entire amount billed.
Expertise. You want to know that the physician fits
your needs. Check to make sure their expertise is in line with your health and
Relationship. Meet the doctor personally and make sure you feel comfortable with them.
They should be your doctor for a long time, and you don’t want to
feel like you can’t be yourself when you are visiting their office.
Centinela Hospital Medical Center has been serving Inglewood and the wider
Los Angeles area and beyond since 1924. Our affiliated primary care physicians
have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with the services you
need, ensuring your healthcare needs are met and you are healthy every
step of the way. With more than 140,000 patients cared for each year from
Los Angeles to the South Bay region, we have the trusted reputation you
can depend on when picking the right PCP for your health.
Visit us at centinelamed.com or call us today with any questions you may have.