When you select a new primary care physician — whether you’ve just moved, changed insurance plans or simply want a different doctor—it’s the start of an important relationship.
So, how do you make the right choice for you and your family? Use the information below to make your decision with confidence.
What is a Primary Care Provider?
A primary care provider (PCP) is a health care practitioner who sees people with common medical problems. The PCP is most often a doctor, though may be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner in some cases. Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, so it’s important to choose someone you feel comfortable partnering with.
A PCP is your main health care provider in non-emergency situations, and available to:
- Provide annual wellness visits and routine check-ups
- Provide preventive care and guide healthy lifestyle choices
- Identify and treat common medical conditions
- Make referrals to medical specialists when necessary
Primary care is most often provided in an outpatient setting. However, if you are admitted to the hospital, your PCP may assist in or direct your care.
Types of PCPs
Having a PCP can give you a trusting, ongoing relationship with one medical professional over time. At Central Maine Healthcare, those relationships are the foundation of our care, and we offer several different types of PCPs to meet your needs:
- Family Medicine: Family medicine provides primary care for patients of all ages – adults, children and seniors. It includes immunizations and sick visits.
- Internal Medicine: Internal medicine is only applicable to adults ages 18 and older. Internal medicine includes gynecological exams, minor in-office surgeries and acute illnesses.
- Pediatrics: Pediatrics serves infants, children and young adults ages 0-21. Among the services available are developmental screenings and special, child-friendly treatment for acute illnesses.
- Senior Health: Primary care providers can help senior patients effectively manage chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis and hypertension, as well as prostate and sleep disorders.