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What is a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and why is he or she so important?

Three Doctors

​Your PCP is an individual physician, physician group practice, advanced practice nurse or advanced practice nurse group practice trained in family medicine (general practice), internal medicine, or pediatrics. In certain cases, a specialist can be assigned as your PCP.

You will pick your PCP through your Medicare health plan. Your PCP will work with you to direct your health care. Your PCP will do your checkups and shots and treat you for most of your routine health care needs. If needed, your PCP will send you to other doctors (specialists) or admit you to the hospital.

  • A PCP takes care of your health care needs and gets to know you well.
  • You may think that you should not see your PCP until you are sick. That is not true.
    • Get to know your PCP even when you are well.
    • Seeing your PCP for checkups allows problems to be found early. If you need special care, your PCP will help.
  • Go for yearly checkups to stay healthy. Go to your PCP for checkups, tests and test results, shots and - of course - when you are ill.

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