What is a Primary Care Provider (PCP) and Why You Should Get One

Think of that one person in your life who you can always rely on for help, guidance, and support? Maybe it’s a friend, a spouse, or a sibling. They are the person who you always go to first whenever you have a problem because they have an incomparable ability to understand your issue and guide you in the right direction to find a resolution. The relationship you have with this person is critical to your overall health and happiness, and you can’t imagine your life without them.

That’s what it means to have a dedicated primary care provider (PCP)
as part of your compassionate care team.

What is a PCP?

A PCP is a generalist in the field of medicine who can diagnose and treat common illnesses and injuries, such as respiratory infections, back pain, headaches, and the cold and flu. They have expertise in managing multiple conditions, medications, and their interactions and potential complications. They are also knowledgeable about certain common chronic diseases and disorders, such as diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Your PCP is the health care provider that you should see on a routine basis for well exams. By visiting your PCP consistently, they will help you monitor any variations in your wellness that might be an indication of the onset of a more severe condition. Also, like your best friend, over time, your PCP will have the advantage of knowing your health history, which is crucial in offering a holistic level of care. Nova Health provider Karrie Patterson, PA-C, said it best when she said, “I love listening and being a consistent and positive presence in a patient’s life. I love providing care for an entire family and becoming a part of their lives.”

Just like the best friend that you turn to when you have a problem and aren’t sure how to handle it, think of your PCP as your sounding board and jumping-off point for any health-related concern. In many cases, your PCP will be able to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan, which might include prescription medication or therapy. In those instances where your health care needs are more complex or specialized, or you are experiencing severe symptoms that might be related to a more concerning, possibly life-threatening condition, your PCP will likely recommend that you see a specialist. Examples of such concerns include cancer, a dangerous autoimmune disorder, or the need to treat an injury with surgery.

 

The Benefit of Collaboration

The benefit of starting conversations with your PCP, even if ultimately, they cannot directly treat your condition, is that they can guide you to the right specialist, one that is trusted and with whom they frequently collaborate. Together, your PCP and the referred specialist broaden your healthcare team and work together to help you reach the best possible outcome. Think of your PCP and the specialist as your reliable best friend referring you to someone they know and trust, such as a lawyer, a contractor, or a personal trainer. There are comfort and security in working with someone vouched for by an existing ally, and when it comes to your health, every provider you work with must be someone with whom you feel relaxed confident.

 

How to Obtain a PCP

If you need a PCP—an ally in your corner to help guide your lifelong healthcare strategy, contact the compassionate care team at Nova Health. Our physicians across our 17 locations are accepting new patients—both in person and via telemedicine. Meet our team, or find a convenient location near you.

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