Primary Care Physician

First Visit With New Primary Care Physician: What to Cover

The number of people in the US who have a primary care physician (PCP) has been steadily declining and a full 25% of adults don’t have a PCP. This number is even higher among younger, healthier people. PCPs serve many important functions, including being a point person for general health issues and refer you to specialists for more specific medical problems.

Have you recently made the decision to see a new PCP? If so, you’re in the right place. If you are getting ready for your first visit with a new primary care physician, read on to learn more about what you should cover with them.

Before Your First Visit With a New Primary Care Physician

Before your first visit, there are a few things you can do to make it a useful visit. First, print out and complete your new patient paperwork ahead of time. Bringing this with you can save you a ton of time, especially if your office has many different forms to complete.

Make sure the doctor takes your insurance and be sure to bring your insurance card and ID with you. Most offices will copy both of these at your first appointment.

Many offices are also using an online check-in system, where you can check in from your phone or computer ahead of time, indicating any changes to your insurance or concerns you are having. Do this before the appointment to save time when you get there.

If you’ve had surgeries, abnormal test results, other medical procedures, or have a lengthy medical history, arrange for your medical records to be sent to your PCP ahead of time. Bring a list of any medications you are currently taking, along with the dosage and frequency as well.

During the Visit

Most PCP visits will start with your vitals, including height, weight, and blood pressure. The nurse or medical assistant will likely go through your medical history, medications, drug allergies, and any concerns you have before you see the doctor.

When the doctor comes in, you will likely spend some time going through your medical history and concerns as well, so they can better understand your needs. At your first visit, many PCPs will order bloodwork for you to get a full picture of your cholesterol, insulin numbers, and any vitamin deficiencies.

They can also refer you to specialists if there is a specific medical issue that is beyond the scope of their expertise. Take the time at your appointment to ask any questions you have, such as their treatment philosophy, what services they offer in the office (and what you may have to go elsewhere for), and express any concerns that you have.

You might even be lucky and find one that does affordable pediatric house calls, which are invaluable when you have a sick child!

Looking for a New PCP?

If you’re considering changing doctors or finding a PCP, make sure you prepare for your first visit with a new primary care physician by getting your important medical information ready to go. Save yourself time by being prepared for your first visit.

If you found these tips helpful, be sure to check out some of our other health and lifestyle articles.

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