Primary and Pediatric Care
Primary Care at Western Connecticut Health Network
Having a primary care provider (PCP) is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes to your health. With a PCP, you have a provider who takes the time to get to know every aspect of your healthcare needs and build a trusting relationship with you—and is focused on your overall health and wellness. Our PCPs are committed to understand all your needs whether clinical or personal, and develop a personalized plan just for you. They are committed to treating you like a person, not a number on a chart.
At WCHN, you can choose from several different types of PCPs:
- Internal medicine doctors (internists) care for adults and seniors
- Family medicine doctors care for all family members, from newborns to seniors, and their scope of practice may include obstetrics and minor surgery
- Geriatricians care for older adults with medical needs related to aging
Pediatricians care for infants, children and teens
- Physician assistants (PAs) and advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) are trained to care for most acute and chronic health concerns, such as cold and flu symptoms, and allergies. They work alongside physicians as a key member of the primary care team.
In addition to primary care, many offices can also provide specialty care, including behavioral health, gastroenterology, nephrology, pain management, etc.
Here are 5 top reasons why you should have a PCP:
- Someone to watch over you—With a PCP on your side, you have a skilled partner who knows your health history and lifestyle. This knowledge and familiarity helps speed diagnosis and personalize care that’s right for you.
- Prevent future illnesses—Your PCP can provide recommendations to help protect your health through regular well visits and routine screenings, and identify and treat minor problems before they can become major ones.
- More coordinated care—With a PCP, you have a point person who assesses the urgency of your medical problems, refers you to specialists when necessary, and keeps track of all your medical information.
- Save time when you need care—Having an established relationship with a PCP can help you get care more quickly when you get sick. Your PCP knows your history, and can sometimes even help you resolve a health issue via phone or email.
- Fewer trips to the ER—The emergency room is no substitute for a good relationship with a PCP. Having a regular doctor who keeps your medical history on file and can see you in a pinch is one of your best options in an emergency. And it saves you time and money.
Here are some general guidelines for selecting a PCP:
- Check with your insurance plan. Learn which primary care providers are part of your plan’s network. Most insurance plans have negotiated discounted rates with certain doctors in your area, and you’ll pay less out of pocket for visiting these doctors.
- Identify the type of provider you need. Do you want a PCP for your entire family (Family Medicine), for example, or a doctor who specializes in caring for older adults (Geriatric Medicine)?
- Talk to friends and family. You may feel more comfortable seeing a physician recommended by a family member, co-worker or friend. You can also ask other healthcare professionals like your optometrist, pharmacist or dentist for recommendations.
- Think about practicalities.
- Do you want a doctor located close to your home or work?
- Are the office hours convenient for you?
- What languages does the doctor speak?
- Is having access to your doctor via an online portal important to you?
- Is the doctor accepting new patients?
- Schedule an appointment. Make a new patient/initial visit appointment with the PCP who’s your top choice (this will be considered a medical appointment and billed to your insurance). Remember, appointments can be made directly online. Write down the questions you want to ask the doctor and bring this list to your appointment. You’ll learn a lot about the doctor from this face-to-face meeting. After your appointment, ask yourself:
- Did the doctor listen to me and answer my questions?
- Did the doctor show respect for me and ask questions? Did I feel comfortable?
- If I came in with a specific medical problem, did the doctor address it to my satisfaction?
We understand that health issues have a way of popping up outside of regular office hours, or sometimes it’s hard to get to the doctor’s office. That’s why we offer a variety of ways to access care and advice from our providers at virtually any time of day, from wherever you are:
- With our After-Hours Program, you can talk to a WCHN medical provider when you have a health-related questions outside of regular business hours.
- With our TeleHealth initiative, you can see a healthcare provider without leaving your home or office. As long as you have an internet connection via a mobile device or computer, you can schedule a virtual appointment with a provider.
WCHN: You can count on us to treat you well
We are committed to knowing you well, and using that knowledge to tailor care to your individual needs. Each time you visit a WCHN provider, you can count on us to:
- Welcome you to the office with respect and compassion
- Engage in open, thoughtful conversation with you to ensure we understand your concerns
- Listen for opportunities to connect with you and take action to do just that
- Link with you in ways that further our relationship, because we’re here for you for the long term
With quality physicians, seamless care and a personal approach, when you build a relationship with a WCHN primary care provider you are gaining a lifelong partner in health.
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