min read
November 27, 2023

Primary Care Physicians: How to Choose Your Partner in Health

Find the perfect partner in health with our comprehensive guide to choosing a primary care physician.

Lanby Team
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A primary care physician (PCP) is a medical professional who serves as your first point of contact in the healthcare system. They are your trusted partners in maintaining and promoting your health. 

Primary care encompasses a wide range of healthcare services, including preventive care, routine check-ups, diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses, and management of chronic conditions. Here's why having a primary care physician is crucial.

Importance of a primary care physician

  • Comprehensive healthcare: PCPs offer comprehensive care, addressing a broad spectrum of health needs. They focus on preventive care to catch health issues early and provide guidance on leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • Long-term relationship: Your primary care physician becomes familiar with your medical history, family history, and personal health goals. This long-term relationship allows for personalized care and better decision-making.
  • Coordination of care: PCPs serve as coordinators and quarterbacks, helping you navigate the complex healthcare system. They can refer you to specialists when necessary and ensure all aspects of your health are considered.
  • Preventive care: They emphasize preventive measures like vaccinations, screenings, and lifestyle choices that can reduce your risk of illness. This proactive approach saves lives and reduces healthcare costs in the future.
  • Chronic condition management: For individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or asthma, PCPs offer ongoing management, medication adjustments, and guidance on lifestyle changes.

Top 3 things to look for when choosing a primary care physician

When selecting a PCP, it's essential to consider various factors to ensure you receive the best possible healthcare. Here are three key things to look for to ensure you choose the right doctor. :

Credentials and qualifications

  • Ensure the doctor is board-certified in their specialty. Board certification indicates that they have completed additional training and passed exams in their area of expertise.
  • Verify their medical school and residency training to ensure they have received proper education and training.
  • Check for any disciplinary actions or malpractice claims against the physician, which may be available through state medical boards or online resources.

Communication and compatibility

  • Effective communication is crucial. Choose a PCP who listens attentively, explains medical information in an understandable manner, and involves you in decision-making about your healthcare.
  • Consider the physician's approach to shared decision-making. Do they respect your preferences and values in your treatment plan?
  • Assess their bedside manner and whether you feel comfortable discussing your health concerns and asking questions during appointments.

Remember that choosing a primary care doctor is a personal decision, and your choice should align with your specific healthcare needs, values, and preferences. It's often helpful to schedule an initial consultation with a potential practice to get a sense of their qualifications and whether you feel comfortable with their approach to care.

More tips for choosing the right PCP

  • Research: Start by researching PCPs in your area. You can ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your insurance company, and check online reviews.
  • Specialization: Consider whether you need a family doctor, internal medicine doctor, pediatrician, or geriatrician, depending on your age and specific health needs.
  • Accessibility: Check their availability and office hours. A PCP should have hours that suit your schedule and be accessible in case of urgent health concerns.
  • Location: Consider the location of the practice. It should be convenient for regular check-ups and appointments.
  • Insurance: Ensure that the physician accepts your health insurance plan. This can help you avoid unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Hospital affiliation: If you have a specific hospital preference, inquire about the physician's hospital affiliations to ensure alignment.
  • References: Don't hesitate to request references from the practitioner's current patients to get firsthand feedback on their experience.

Choosing the right PCP involves thorough research, assessing compatibility, and ensuring that they meet your specific healthcare needs. With the right primary care physician, you'll have a trusted ally in your health corner.

What are the benefits of a primary care doctor?

Having a primary care physician (PCP) offers a multitude of benefits that contribute to your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the advantages of having a PCP such as The Lanby:

  • Comprehensive healthcare: PCPs provide a wide range of healthcare services, including preventive care, routine check-ups, diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses, and management of chronic conditions. This comprehensive care ensures that all aspects of your health are considered.
  • Long-term relationship:  Establishing a long-term relationship with a PCP allows for continuity of care. Your PCP becomes familiar with your medical history, family history, and personal health goals, making it easier to provide personalized care.
  • Preventive care: PCPs focus on preventive measures, including vaccinations, health screenings, and lifestyle guidance. They help you catch health issues early, promoting early intervention and preventive healthcare.
  • Coordination of care: PCPs serve as the central point of coordination for your healthcare. They can make referrals to specialists when necessary and ensure that all your healthcare providers are on the same page regarding your treatment.
  • Chronic condition management: For individuals with chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, or arthritis, PCPs offer ongoing management, medication adjustments, and guidance on lifestyle changes to control these conditions.
  • Mental health support: Many PCPs are equipped to address common mental health concerns, such as stress, anxiety, and depression. They can provide counseling or refer you to mental health specialists when needed.
  • Lifestyle and wellness: PCPs promote healthy habits and lifestyle changes that contribute to long-term well-being. They offer advice on weight management, smoking cessation, and stress reduction.
  • Women's health: For women, PCPs can perform routine gynecological examinations, discuss family planning, and offer guidance on reproductive health.
  • Pediatric care: PCPs are essential for children's healthcare, providing vaccinations, growth monitoring, and care for common childhood illnesses.
  • Building trust: A strong patient-doctor relationship based on trust and communication is a key benefit of having a PCP. You can discuss your health concerns openly and receive guidance tailored to your unique needs.
  • Accessibility: PCPs are typically available for both scheduled appointments and urgent healthcare concerns, making medical care more accessible and convenient.
  • Continuity of care: When you have a PCP, you’re more likely to receive consistent, evidence-based care that follows the best practices and guidelines.
  • Cost-efficiency: PCPs can help you manage healthcare costs by promoting preventive care, early intervention, and cost-effective treatments.

Having a primary care physician is like having a healthcare advocate and partner who works with you to maintain and improve your health. Regular visits to your PCP can lead to early detection of health issues, effective disease management, and guidance on leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

What kind of doctor is best for primary care?

Several types of doctors can serve as primary care providers, depending on your age, medical history, and specific health needs. The best type of primary care physician for you may vary, but the most common primary care specialties include:

Family medicine  

Family doctors are trained to provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They can manage a wide range of health conditions and are often considered a one-stop-shop for primary care.

Internal medicine  

Internists focus on adult healthcare. They are well-equipped to manage complex medical conditions, chronic diseases, and preventive care for adults.


Pediatricians specialize in the healthcare of infants, children, and adolescents. If you have children, a pediatrician can serve as their primary care provider.


Geriatricians are experts in the healthcare needs of older adults. If you are an older adult, a geriatrician can provide specialized care that addresses the unique health challenges associated with aging.

The choice between these primary care physicians largely depends on your age and health status. Here are some general guidelines:

  • If you're an adult, an internal medicine physician is often a suitable choice.
  • If you have a family with members of different age groups, a family practice  can provide care for everyone.
  • If you have children, a pediatrician will be your child's primary care provider.
  • If you are an older adult, a geriatrician can cater to your specific health needs.

Ultimately, the best primary care physician is one with whom you feel comfortable, can communicate effectively, and who can provide the care you need. You may also consider factors like the physician's location, office hours, and whether they accept your health insurance.

The Lanby is your premier choice for primary care in New York, offering a modern, comprehensive, and compassionate approach to healthcare. With our team of dedicated healthcare professionals, we prioritize your well-being, emphasizing preventive care, personalized treatment, and a patient-centered approach.

Your health journey is our top priority, and we're here to provide the care you deserve. If you're seeking quality primary care that is committed to your unique needs, look no further.

Experience healthcare that's tailored to you. Click here to book a free consultation and discover how The Lanby can make a difference in your health and wellness journey.

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If you're curious to learn more about The Lanby, book a free consult call and we'll chat about how The Lanby can be your personalized long term health and wellness partner.

The Lanby Editorial Team