Think of a primary care provider (also called a PCP) as your point person. This trusted medical professional can help you out with lots of things. Your PCP and their team is here for you when you wake up feeling horrible and know you need to see your doctor. They can help keep you up to date on preventive care and screening and stay on top of your health throughout your life.
At Cleveland Clinic, it’s important that your relationship with your PCP is built on trust. We want you to know we’re here for you whenever you need us — ready to help. Our PCPs combine their knowledge with a compassionate spirit. They take the time to listen and get to know you. They’ll help you stay healthy, get better when you’re sick or injured, manage lifelong conditions and connect you with a specialist if you need one. Whatever comes along on your healthcare journey, your PCP is ready to guide you.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Primary Care?
Our PCPs are industry leaders who offer the highest quality everyday healthcare for you and your family — throughout your entire life.
As a primary care patient, you’ll be connected to all of Cleveland Clinic’s resources and large network of specialists. Our providers work together as a team, keeping each other in the loop, so that everyone you work with knows exactly what you need, when you need it. Meet our team.
Your care is unique to you. Our PCPs are caring, compassionate, empathetic medical professionals who take the time to get to know you and learn about your health history. This helps us recommend screenings and other preventive tests to keep you healthy. And when you need treatment, we craft a plan that’s just right for you.
Innovation and research:
We offer the most up-to-date tests and procedures and use what we’ve learned in our research to offer you the best possible, evidence-based care. Cleveland Clinic is a national leader in managing chronic (lifelong) diseases, like diabetes, and doing research in primary care settings.
Get the care you need, when you need it, through virtual visits, using your smartphone, tablet or computer. For many common health issues, this is an easy alternative to an in-person visit with your provider.
Finding a provider close to home is important. Cleveland Clinic offers primary care in Ohio and Florida.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s top hospitals and a leader in pediatric care. Newsweek has also named us one of the top hospitals in the world.
What to Expect from a Primary Care Provider
Your primary care provider can wear a lot of hats when it comes to your health. They’re your go-to person for most of your medical concerns and care questions. But a few specific things you can expect from your PCP include:
- Help with regular checkups and screenings. This includes that yearly trip to the doctor’s office and tests that can help prevent other health issues. Think of things like Pap smears, colonoscopies, mammograms, blood tests to check your cholesterol and skin exams. These tests might not all be done by your PCP themselves, but they’ll help you know when to get these tests and understand the results.
- Treatment when you’re sick. Whether it’s a sinus infection, seasonal allergies, a urinary tract infection (UTI) or pink eye, your PCP can help you get much-needed treatment.
- Managing lifelong conditions. Chronic conditions (like diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease) require care throughout your life. Your PCP can help you manage these conditions long-term. And if you ever need care from a specialist, your PCP can connect you with the providers who can help.
Who Treat Your Primary Care Concerns
LocationsYou can schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with one of our providers at convenient locations in Northeast Ohio and Florida.
Types of Primary Care Providers
When you’re looking for a PCP, you’ll notice that there are different types of providers. You might think, “Hold on, I thought a PCP was a PCP.” All of these providers are able to care for you and your family. You just might need different ones at different points in your life.
The types of PCPs you can meet with include:
Internal medicine doctor
If you’re an adult, age 18 or over, you might want to see an internal medicine doctor (also called an internist). Internal medicine doctors know about all the adult body systems and can handle whatever health issues you have, no matter how challenging.
Family medicine doctor
If you’d rather have one doctor for everyone in the family — from 10 days old to 100 years old — a family medicine doctor might be the way to go. Unlike internal medicine doctors, who care only for adults, family medicine doctors are trained to treat people of all ages. They often see patients of multiple generations in the same family for many years, so the relationships they build with family members are strong, and the care they provide is highly personalized.
If you have a baby, child or teenager, you may want them to see a pediatrician. Pediatricians can help kids stay healthy as they grow and develop. Like other PCPs, pediatricians see children for regular wellness checkups, to get vaccines (shots) and to treat them when they’re sick or injured. They also do sports physicals and keep an eye on a child’s emotional and social development.
If you’re an adult age 65+, you may want to see a geriatrician. This is a doctor who specializes in care of older adults and disease processes brought on and affected by aging. Geriatricians often work closely with an internist or family medicine doctor to provide comprehensive and coordinated care to help you thrive throughout your life.
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants work closely with other PCPs, so you may see one of these providers at your appointments. They do physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret diagnostic tests and can talk to you about your health. They can also assist in surgery and prescribe medications.
Finding a Primary Care Provider Who’s a Good Fit
Finding the right primary care provider can take time. You want someone you can trust, who understands you and who you can talk openly with about your health concerns. Think of this like a job interview, and you’re doing the hiring. You’ll want to ask your potential provider important questions to see if they’re a good fit for you. You’ll also want to make sure their personality works with yours. And it’s OK if the first PCP you meet with isn’t the one. We want you to be comfortable confiding in and working with the provider you pick.
Primary Care Virtual Visits
Feeling bad but don’t want to leave home? No problem. Virtual visits are a great option when you want to get care for symptoms without going out. This appointment type is a good fit for things that don’t require an in-person exam. Think sore throats, headaches, flu or pink eye. And if you’re out of town, virtual visits make it easy to keep in touch with your provider without having to travel. You just need an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s a quick and convenient way to receive care.
Taking the Next Step
A primary care provider is your go-to person for all your health concerns and questions. Whether it’s a routine physical, helping you with that sinus infection that hasn’t gone away, managing a chronic condition or connecting you with a specialist, your PCP is always here for you — helping you stay healthy throughout your life.
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