Choosing the Right Primary Care Physician (PCP)

adv_graybillwickesNow is the time of year when many people are deciding who will be their Primary Care Physician, or PCP. Most health insurance plans require a person to appoint a PCP—usually a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)—to oversee their overall health and wellness needs.

The three main categories of PCPs include:
✔ Family Physicians: Trained to treat patients of all ages
✔ Pediatricians: Specialists in the medical needs of babies, children and adolescents
✔ Internists: Focused on the needs of adults.

Think of your PCP as your advocate in the healthcare system. Except in the case of an emergency, your PCP is generally your initial point of contact for your healthcare needs. He/she will 1) diagnose and treat common conditions; 2) educate you on making healthy
lifestyle changes and other preventive measures; 3) assess urgent problems and direct you to appropriate care; 4) coordinate the referral process if you need to see a specialist.

Many people have a long-term relationship with their PCP and refer to their PCP as “my doctor” or “our family physician.” Having a doctor-patient relationship built on trust and confidence is one of the keys to receiving quality health care.

As you’re looking at different doctors in your health insurance provider directory, think about what you want in a health partnership. Does the doctor’s office need to be close to work or home? Can you make early morning, evening or weekend appointments? Do you need a doctor who speaks a language other than English? Would you prefer someone who is similar in age or of the same gender?

For quality care, make sure you choose the right PCP for your unique healthcare needs.

Dr. Aeron Wickes is a Family Practice Physician in
Graybill Medical Group’s Sabre Springs Office.
It is located at 12650 Sabre Springs Pky., Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92128.
He treats patients ages 18 and above and welcomes new patients.
He can be reached at 858.679.9262, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.