Primary Care FAQs
Finding the right doctor for your primary care needs is important. Let us answer frequently asked questions regarding primary care & family medicine, preventive wellness & more.
What is a primary care physician?
Primary care physicians (PCPs) are similar to coaches, directing and coordinating all aspects of your health care – physical, emotional and mental. They listen to your questions, assess symptoms, recommend treatment approaches, prescribe medication and refer you to the proper specialist when needed.
Do I need a primary care physician?
It’s important to have a primary care physician. They get to know you, your history and your family health history. Building a long-term relationship with your PCP can translate to major health benefits over your lifetime, such as lower overall health costs, a decrease in hospital and ER visits, and better management of chronic diseases.
I rarely get sick. Why do I need a PCP?
Your primary care physician can identify health issues in their early stages before they become major problems. They offer preventive care such as immunizations, regular imaging & lab testing, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, flu shots and cancer screenings, as well as diet and lifestyle advice to maintain or improve your health.
What should I discuss with my primary care doctor?
Be open and honest with your physician regarding what’s going on with your health. Don’t hold back if something is bothering you.
- Are you experiencing painful or uncomfortable symptoms that interfere with your daily life?
- Is a medication you’re taking making you feel sick?
- Do you need help with making healthy decisions or lifestyle choices?
- Are you having problems sleeping or with your marriage or children?
- Are you experiencing stress, depression or sadness?
All of these factors can impact your health.
What’s the difference between family medicine, internal medicine and primary care physicians?
Primary care physicians fall into one of three categories: family medicine doctors, internal medicine doctors and pediatricians.
- An internal medicine doctor cares for adults.
- A pediatrician cares for children.
- A family medicine doctor, also known as a family practitioner, is both a pediatrician and an internal medicine doctor combined into one specialty. They care for both children and adults.
How often should I see my PCP if I consider myself in overall good health?
Seeing your physician once a year for a physical exam is an excellent way to manage your health. Many health insurance plans classify an annual physical as preventive care, and some plans cover preventive care services at no charge.