Selecting a primary care provider
Choosing a family doctor or Primary Care Provider (PCP)
Even if you don’t get sick very often, having a regular family doctor is important. Family doctors are also called primary care providers or PCPs. Your PCP can get to know you and your family well. You can trust your PCP to make the right decisions about your health.
Your PCP can:
- Teach you about healthy choices and ways to prevent illness
- Treat you when you’re sick and find out what the problem is
- Help determine if you have an emergency and send you to the best place to take care of it
- Give you a referral to a specialist when you need one
Different types of PCPs
- Family Practice – providers who treat adults and children
- General Practice – providers who treat adults and children
- Internal Medicine – providers who treat adults
- Pediatricians–providers who treat children from birth to age 21
- Specialists–providers who are trained, certified or licensed in a special area of health care
Sometimes PCPs have other health care providers in their office that you may see. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses may be employed by your doctor to help meet your health care needs.
How to choose a PCP
When choosing a PCP, make sure he or she is on our provider list. That ensures that he or she is someone that provides quality service to our members. You also should consider your personal needs.
- How friendly is the office staff? Are people helpful? Do they return your calls?
- Is the office open when you need it to be?
- How easy is it to reach the PCP? Can you reach them via email?
- Do you prefer a PCP that is friendly and warm, or one that’s more formal and to the point? Ask the office staff what type of doctor he or she is.
- Is the PCP known for treating diseases or preventing them?
- What do colleagues and patients say about the PCP? Check on the Internet for reviews.
- Ask your friends, neighbors or relatives for recommendations.
You can also ask your dentist, pharmacist or insurance company for information to help you make a decision.
You can search for a provider.