That's what a primary care physician (PCP) does. A PCP is a doctor who knows you and provides the general care you need to stay healthy and well. They can also refer you to other specialists when needed, and work with you to ensure that all of your health care needs are met. Just as a pediatrician manages the health and wellness of children, a PCP does the same for adults.
If you don't have a PCP, you might be missing out on important screenings and preventative measures that could help you stay healthy. If you have a list of health care needs that are being met by other specialists, you still need a PCP for general health and management. And if you are healthy or don't have any special health needs that require a specialist, this is the perfect time to find a PCP that can work with you to help ensure your long-term health. The right PCP will serve as your provider, your advocate, your consultant and your coordinator for comprehensive health and wellness. You're never too old – or too young – to find a PCP committed to providing the health care and access you need today, and into the future.
This article first appeared in the April 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter and was subsequently updated in January 2019 to reflect changes in service availability.