If you have never really visited a doctor for medical attention, or if you have never been the harlingen doctors policy holder of a health insurance plan, then you may not know what a primary care physician (PCP) is. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with this type of doctor because PCPs typically serve as the first place you turn when you have a medical ailment. Your primary care physician will treat you for minor health issues or pass you along to a specialist for more serious conditions.
Types of PCPs
A primary care physician role may be filled by a number of different types of doctors; your PCP does not necessarily need to be a general practitioner. For example, under some insurance plan, a female’s gynecologist may serve as her primary provider. Other doctors that are typically allowed, under most health insurance plans, to serve as PCPs include:
- Pediatricians (for children up to a certain age)
- Family practitioners (for all family members)
- General internists (general treatment with a subspecialty)
- General practitioners
Most health care plans like HMOs and PPOs allow their policyholders to select a PCP. If you are looking to purchase or join a new plan, then you should check to make sure it covers a PCP.
The Importance of PCPs
PCPs hold a number of very important roles in the area of medicine. Typically, they form long-term doctor-patient relationships that allow them to learn their patients’ individual medical histories and ways of life. Therefore, PCPs can provide the best advice, medicines, or referrals to meet each patient’s specific needs.
Primary treatment doctors are the first go-to-guys for those suffering from medical issues. They refer patients onto specialists if need be, manage the treatment of any long-term illnesses or chronic problems, diagnose and treat minor health issues, and perform regular checkups on patients. Essentially, they are responsible for maintaining the general well-being of their many patients.