PCP, Primary Care Physician

I’m referring to the medical term PCP (Primary Care Physician), not the drug, you silly people.

Now that I’m getting older, well not THAT old, I’ve started realizing some things. I probably should get myself checked out. Ok, I realized this when I was coughing up my lungs last week. I knew that I needed drugs, preferably some kind of antibiotic.

So I realize that it’s been a few years since I have been to the regular doctor, perhaps 2004-ish. Yikes!! I check with the medical practice where I went before and my doctor is no longer there. Ugh. They are also an Urgent Care Center. So I tell them that I probably have bronchitis and upper respiratory infection-ish. They told me that I could/maybe/most likely wait two to three hours for Urgent Care Dr. The receptionist then asked who my PCP was. I said well, it was this Dr. (not naming names). She said, ohhh she hasn’t been here for like two years. I said well, can I establish myself with a new doctor in the practice? She said, umm, this particular dr. has an appointment. So I went to Dr. and got my meds. I didn’t get that “I want her as my PCP feeling”.

Angry Husband decides that he wants to go to Dr. now also. He would like to get a physical done. He also has no PCP. So I pull up our health insurance’s website. I get hundreds of doctors listed in our area. I have no clue on how to begin? My choices are male/female, other languages spoken, year graduated from Medical School, etc. So I put the doctors within 5 miles if our house search. I started calling the doctors’ offices. This is what I get from the receptionists, this is my typical conversation.

Me: Hi, are you accepting new patients in your group?

Chick on Phone: Yes/No and then what type of insurance do you have?

Me: XYZ Insurance

Chick on Phone: Oh, we are only accepting HMO patients now

Me: Ok , thanks

Other Chick on Phone: Oh, we do take your insurance, but, we are a concierge practice.

Me: Um, what does that mean?

Chick on Phone: Well, you pay $1800 a year for premiere service.

Me: Um, ok, no thanks, click….

So I finally call one of the newer Medical Groups in the area. I get a really nice lady on the phone. I told her that I’m looking for a PCP for my husband who is a typical male and hates/refuses going to the Dr. She said, how bout next week. I was shocked, I said sure thing!!! I then asked her, “What is this concierge medical practice thing?” She told me that it’s becoming on of these popular OC things where the doctors are at your beck and call. I giggled and then hung up.

Well, I’m a Google-r. I researched Concierge Medical Practices and here are some highlights.

As a general rule, for a fixed annual fee, these practices offer a limited number of patients special services and amenities that are not now provided by most medical practices. These services may include, among other things, the following:

·Nicer and less crowded reception areas.

·Priority/same day/ guaranteed next day/ extended/ Saturday appointments.

·24-hour pager, cell phone, home phone access to the physician.

·House calls and out of office care, possibly including accompanying patients to appointments with specialists.

· Preventive care/ weight loss/ nutrition/ wellness advice and programs.

· Telephone and email consultations.

· Spa-like amenities and decor.

· Free check ups.

· Physicals and other normally uncovered services

So anyway, the AH has a new PCP. I still do not. I hate this search. I want someone that I feel comfortable with. And of course, I got asked again today, by my Ob-Gyn, “Who is your PCP, so we can forward your test results?” I sighed, I don’t have one. The receptionist gave me a weird look.

I guess as an adult it is one of my duties; 1. PCP and 2. Dentist.

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