Primary care doctors or PCP (primary care physicians), are the first line of defense in the battle for your health. These caring physicians often have full caseloads, seeing patients from all walks of life and at all life stages.
Primary care doctors assume different roles at various times, often doing a lot of administrative work on the patient’s behalf, providing daily medical care for a given patient’s ongoing healthcare needs. They also coordinate patient care as necessary, sending patients to the hospital or other specialized doctors that may need to be consulted in a particular case.
Being Organized Helps Your Primary Care Doctor Take Better Care of You
Primary care doctors are there to help. They want you to be a well-informed patient and most welcome patient questions. If you know that you need extra time because of special concerns though, be sure to talk to the staff scheduling the visit to allow enough time so that everything can flow as smoothly as possible during your appointment.
If you have prescriptions that need to be refilled, let your doctor know beforehand if possible. If you are visiting a new doctor, make sure to bring of the prescription bottles for any medications your previous primary care doctor may have prescribed. Additionally, if you are a new patient, and you have special needs such as needing to use a walker, wheelchair or service animal, please inform them of this as well. And, if you cannot read or need someone to translate, or are hearing impaired, inform the doctor’s office in advance so they can get a sign language interpreter or translator. In some cases, you may prefer to bring a friend or family member who can translate for you, but rest assured, one will be provided if necessary. Each office can explain what you need to do in advance.
If you have to miss an appointment, please contact your primary care doctor’s office as soon as possible so they can reschedule. Some offices, depending on their policies, may charge a fee if you do not give them at least a day’s notice in cases where you need to cancel.
If you have an urgent need to see your primary care doctor, but do not have an appointment, some offices will try to fit you in as a walk-in. Even if they can accommodate you, you may have to wait for quite some time. Please be patient and understand that they are doing their best.
It is always a good idea to call before you come because they can advise you if the doctor has enough time to fit you in. Most doctors hold some appointments for their established patients who are sick and need to be seen. If your situation is a true emergency, call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room and contact your doctor as soon as possible. The emergency room staff can also contact your primary care doctor to alert them to your visit and needs.
Your primary care doctor is on your side and has your best interest at heart. In order to give you the best possible care, your primary care physician may need to refer you to a specialist to help diagnose and/or treat you. To find out more about our highly trained and caring physicians in Sarasota/Manatee County Florida, please call Intercoastal Medical Group today for an appointment with one of our highly qualified primary care doctors, or request one online.