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Is there a point to having a PCP if you have PPO health insurance? Surely you can just go directly to the doctor/specialist you want? What am I missing here?

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👍☝️ because when you suddenly need a hematologist and have no idea who to call/who is the right *kind* of hematologist, they tell you who to call. Also they keep your medical records in one place (when you tell the specialist your PCP, they get copies of the notes and tests.)

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Sometimes specialists won’t take new patients without referrals. It’s also good to have a doctor that knows you and your history well as they can spot patterns or changes, though extremely few people in this country still have the experience of a “family physician”.

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PCP should be better equipped at managing overall health instead of you self diagnosing and picking and choosing where your should go or focus. I have my PCP help me manage what is a priority and what is more of long-term or “wants”. Most insurance plans will have 1 yearly annual visit that is free that includes bloodwork and a work up.

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I’ve wondered the same thing and was told that if you end up in the hospital for some reason then your PCP can coordinate and direct your care.

PCP will look at big picture - probably more important when you’re older. As a woman my gynecologist was basically my PCP when I was in my 20s and 30s. But they handled a lot of testing back then too. I have also seen specialists without PCP referral, but I like that she’s there and she caught that my blood pressure was too low...stuff like that can lead to other problems down the road.

I’m in my early 40s and never really had a pcp for the reason you state. I got my lady-parts exams from various doctors as needed, and saw a doctor occasionally for an ambien prescription. I recently decided that as I age I should be a bit more thoughtful about my approach, so I found a PCP who came highly recommended by a friend, through a big health system, and it’s been amazing. I’m a bit overdue for a couple of the big cancer screenings, and had another concern I discussed with her. All the relevant specialists are in the system, and *they called me* to set up the appointments!! All my info is in one handy dandy medical chart I have access to... it’s great! But I finally also feel like I have one person at the middle of it all who is helping guide and coordinate. So while I have seen various PCPs in the past, I have to say that based on this experience, having one who is part of a network where care feels very coordinated has been transformative of my sense of the role they can play in my care.

Because you probably don’t know everything you should be looking at/testing for and when. Who else do you go to when you have the flu? Or need antibiotics for strep throat? How do you know which specialists you should go to? There’s a lot more to medicine than googling & picking a specialist *you* think you need.

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