Choosing a Primary Care Physician (PCP)

As it relates to insurance, a PCP is an MD (Doctor of Medicine) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) whom you designate to coordinate your health care needs, including referrals to specialists.

A Primary Care Physician, or PCP, is a doctor who is trained to address most of your medical care needs and is focused on your overall health and wellness. Your PCP serves as your first point of contact in the healthcare system and can

  • diagnose and treat common conditions
  • educate you about leading a healthy lifestyle and other preventive measures
  • assess urgent problems and direct you to appropriate care
  • make referrals to specialists

A long-term relationship with your PCP will ensure that you have an advocate who is knowledgeable about your health history and needs. A PCP can be a Family Physician (trained to treat patients of all ages), a Pediatrician (specializing in the medical needs of babies, children and adolescents) or an Internist (specializing in adult medicine).

Whether you’re new to a health plan and must appoint a PCP or want to change your current PCP, think about what you’ll need in a long-term health partnership. Does the doctor’s office need to be close to work or home? Does the office need to be open early mornings or evenings? Do you need a doctor who speaks a language other than English? Would you prefer someone who is the same gender? Use our Search Tool (see above) to find a Palomar Health Medical Group – Graybill physician by location, specialty, language, and more.