Primary care is the practice of integrated, accessible health care services. A primary care physician (PCP) can get to know you and your medical history and coordinate a medical team, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and specialists, to address the majority of your health care needs. Your PCP plays an important role in your longevity and quality of life by performing regular checkups, identifying risk factors, and managing ongoing health conditions.
Five Reasons a PCP Is Important
1. First stop for care
If you’re starting to feel cold symptoms and also have questions about what vaccines you need or what to do about that persistent back pain, you get advice about all of these topics with one doctor’s appointment.
2. Points you in the right direction
Your PCP is trained to support your overall physical and mental health, but certain health conditions are best addressed by a specialist. In these cases, your PCP will recommend you see a specialist and help coordinate information between all of your other health care providers.
3. Manages existing health conditions
Chronic diseases, like diabetes, arthritis and high cholesterol, should be monitored regularly. Your PCP will schedule routine tests to monitor health changes and make necessary adjustments to your medications or treatment plan.
4. Helps spot health problems before serious illness develops
Because significant changes your weight, blood pressure, heart or other key health measures could indicate a serious problem, your primary care team checks them at every visit to help identify health issues early — before they become something worse.
5. Knows you best
Seeing your PCP regularly (at least once a year) helps your PCP get to know you and your medical history. You can feel more comfortable having open conversations about your health and asking questions to ensure your needs are met.
Finding a PCP You Can Trust
Everyone deserves a health care provider with whom they feel comfortable, listened to, respected and understood. Finding the right PCP is easier for some than for others. It may be difficult finding someone who speaks your primary language or understands how your ethnic background, culture, gender or sexual orientation affect your lifestyle and your health.
UC is committed to equitable, high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate health care for all members of our diverse community. Our health benefits and digital tools offer a variety of ways for our diverse community to connect to care. UC has a growing network of providers that are as diverse as our community. Most UC providers and facilities accept Medicare.
Find Your Match
If you’re interested in finding a current primary care team, or finding a new one, start with medicare.gov to find providers near you that accept Medicare.
Call the office to ask about ethnicity information and languages spoken in that office to help you decide if that doctor is a good match for you.