What does it mean to “speak to a medical provider”?  

When you consult public health resources, you probably see some version of “talk to your primary care provider” or “consult with your medical provider” pretty frequently. What does it mean and why do we say it?

What is a primary care or medical provider?  

A primary care provider (PCP) is a doctor, nurse practitioner, or other medical professional who sees patients consistently over the course of their lives.

Why do I need a PCP?  

Everyone deserves access to a medical professional with whom they feel safe. When we have a consistent medical home we trust, our providers can help us track changes in our health and well-being, and their advice is specific to what they know about our life circumstances. We often say “speak to a medical provider or your PCP” when we make health recommendations because that person knows YOU—they can help you figure out what recommendations are most appropriate for you.

Why can’t I just come to the health department for all my primary care?  

We love being connected to community members, and we do offer clinics that can help with immunizations, some testing, and other services. Our public health workers are often focused on really specialized areas—like tuberculosis—or on improving public health by paying attention to community-level needs. We want you to have access to someone focused on individual-level needs: yours!

Okay, how do I find a PCP or medical provider?  

RHHD keeps a list of providers who focus on pediatrics—taking care of our kids—and adult patients. Our list also highlights providers who accept Medicaid or who work with uninsured patients. It’s a great place to start looking for a provider of your own!