What to Know When Selecting A Primary Care Doctor or Team

Everyone needs medical care at some point, whether for routine matters or chronic illness. Whatever the circumstance, you will need to consult someone who can make diagnoses and treatments for various organ systems, like primary care doctors.

PCPs are generalists. They see adult patients for a range of common ailments. You might go to a PCP for respiratory infections, back pain, headaches, and UTI. A primary care physician also manages high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. They could also help people cope with chronic mood conditions like anxiety and depression. Since they address the entire person, they know how to manage multiple treatments and medications.

Why You Need A Primary Care Physician

In 2019, researchers analyzed survey results from 21,133 US adults without a PCP and 49,286 US adults with a PCP in a JAMA Internal Medicine study. Their results showed that adults with primary care physicians were more likely to have routine preventive visits and fill their prescriptions. They were also more likely to have high-value care like mammographies and cancer screenings.

How To Choose A PCP Team

Choosing a primary care doctor involves considering several things. First, a PCP should be an excellent communicator. PCPs work in teams, and they must keep the patient at the center of all activities. Primary care work extends beyond the physician. PCP teams often comprise social workers, nurses, medical assistants, and pharmacists. A patient could find the support they need from any member of this team. Any of these practitioners can help patients navigate complex health care systems.

Consider your current health status and needs when choosing a PCP. If you have complicated, chronic illnesses, you will benefit from having a team that can help with as many aspects of health care as possible. If you do not have as many medical needs at the moment, you would still benefit from establishing a relationship with a robust primary care practice. The best PCPs will get to know you and your health care goals; they do not have superficial relationships with their patients.

How To Prepare For A Visit To Your PCP

If you’re planning a visit to a new PCP, you need to prepare as much as you can. Gather your previous records, including insurance information and medication lists. They would want to pick up where your previous consultants left off and providing them with your records and medical history will help them significantly. Bring a list of questions as well; when you do, the PCP can design for you a health care plan that correctly assesses your current needs.

They may require additional visits for multiple conditions or to address different symptoms. Ensure that they address your most pressing concerns but be ready to accept additional visits or consultations with specialists if necessary.


Many adults will need to be part of the health care system at some point. When you have a PCP team that knows you in the context of your medical history, health goals, and preferences, you will find it easy to get the help and attention you need.

Visit Garden State Medical Group’s primary care doctors for your family’s overall health and wellness. We serve North Bergen and Secaucus, NJ, and our board-certified physicians and specialists practice integrative and functional medicine focused on prevention, management, and education. Schedule an appointment today!

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