Your PCP is a health care MVP

GEHA | February 17, 2020

health and wellness
Having a primary care physician is an essential part of improving long-term health.

Developing a long-term relationship with a primary care provider, or PCP, can be key to your long-term health. By checking in with regular annual check-ups, your doctor will be better able to monitor your overall health and wellness.

What is a PCP?
A primary care provider is usually your go-to health care resource in non-emergency situations. Your PCP’s role is to:

  • Provide preventive care and teach healthy habits
  • Identify and treat common medical conditions
  • Make referrals to medical specialists when necessary

Over time, a PCP will develop a baseline for your well-being by identifying your unique risk factors for disease, managing any chronic conditions and acting as a point person if you need care from specialists or you are admitted to a hospital.

What type of physician is a PCP?
Your primary care provider can have a variety of backgrounds. You can choose from:

  • Family practitioners
    • The scope of their practice includes children and adults of all ages and may include obstetrics or minor surgery.
  • Geriatricians
    • This type of doctor serves as a PCP for older adults with complex medical needs related to aging.
  • Internists
    • This practice includes the care of adults of all ages and many different medical issues.

Whichever kind of primary care provider you choose, add a yearly checkup to your annual checklist.

If you don’t have a PCP, GEHA can help you find a physician in your area.


Sources:
“The Importance of Primary Care Physicians.” pennmedicine.org, Penn Medicine, 7 February 2020.

“Choosing a Primary Care Provider.” nih.gov National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 11 July, 2019.