The Young Adult's Guide To Selecting A Primary Care Center And PCP

23 August 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Do you need to choose a primary care physician (PCP), or should you rely on urgent care and specialists for all of your medical needs? Now that you're an adult, the pediatrician's office is not an option. But this means you don't have one dedicated doctor. Take a look at what new college grads and other young adults need to know about primary care centers, choosing a doctor, and their health. 

Why Should You Choose A PCP?

Like your pediatrician, primary care doctors provide both preventive and problem (sick or injury) services. Even though you can get well and sick visit care from an urgent clinic, the PCP is a medical provider who you will form a healthcare relationship with. The benefits of the choice to visit one PCP include:

  • The doctor knows your health history. Your PCP will take a full health history during the initial visit. They will add to this over the years. This creates a picture that the doctor can use to help you stay healthy.

  • You will feel more comfortable with the medical provider. The more comfortable you feel with your doctor, the more likely you are to open up and share medical or mental health concerns. 

  • Your health information is in one place. An urgent care clinic won't have access to years worth of tests, imaging studies, or vaccination records and a specialist will only have some of your information. But a PCP will maintain a full record of your health history.

Along with these reasons to choose a PCP, the primary care physician may save you money. Some insurers set lower copays for general physicians/PCPs compared to what you might pay to visit an urgent care center or specialist doctor. 

How Should You Choose A Primary Health Care Center?

Talk to your insurance company or consult the plan's requirements before you choose a PCP. Failure to select an in-network PCP could result in extra or unnecessary charges. In-network providers have agreements with insurance companies. The insurer agrees to accept a set price for services, making it less expensive for the patient to seek medical care. 

Even though insurance is a major factor in your PCP choice, it isn't the only one. You will need to feel comfortable with the healthcare provider if you want to develop a long-lasting relationship. Ask friends or family members for referrals or talk to a few PCPs before you select one. Real-world references or first-hand consultations can help you to learn more about the doctor and make the most informed decision possible.

Call a primary care center for more information.