Having a primary care provider (PCP), is a key part of living a healthy life. He or she can focus on your total health and work with other doctors to make sure you get the care you need. Although a PCP is often a doctor (MD or DO), he or she may also be a nurse practitioner (NP) or a physician assistant (PA).
Your PCP keeps your medical records, which show your history of care. That means he or she knows when you get things like your flu shot, tests or if you’re taking medicines. That way, he or she can help you better when you're sick. It can also help your PCP work with you to stay healthy over time.
Be sure to talk to your PCP about any problems you have when you’re sick or hurt. That way, your PCP can give you the best care.¹ During your visit, he or she may ask you questions like:
It can be hard to remember things when you don’t feel well. If you need help, have a friend or family member go with you. Taking notes on what your PCP says can also help you make sure you know exactly what he or she wants you to do to take care of yourself.
It’s good to see your PCP for well exams. A well exam is usually a yearly checkup with your PCP. He or she will check things like your blood pressure, weight and more. It’s also a chance for you to tell your PCP about your health since you last saw him or her.²
He or she would want to know things like:
Your PCP may have things that he or she will need you to do after your visit. So, before you leave, make sure you know:³
Your PCP wants you stay healthy. Being able to talk openly with your PCP can help you stay healthy because you’re working together.4
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