Author Topic: Do you have a primary care physician?  (Read 8837 times)

Inaya

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Do you have a primary care physician?
« on: March 18, 2016, 12:19:09 PM »
Before I moved to Chicago, I had a PCP, who was also my mom's PCP. I never actually saw said PCP, just nurse practitioners and physician's assistants. Which is fine, the care seemed fine (minus their constant pushing of antidepressants for everything--but that's a different story). I got referrals when needed, and my parents were paying medical costs still, so everything was peachy.

Since moving here, however, my healthcare needs have been handled via the nurse at my workplace, Minute Clinic (CVS), and Planned Parenthood. Most of it's annual preventative stuff, so it's covered by HDHP. It's worked fine for me because I'm young and pretty healthy. I tried to go the PCP route last year, but the guy charged my insurance $700 for a run-of-the-mill annual physical, so I don't think I'll be going back. I'm scared of what he'd charge for anything less routine. I'm not sure what I'd do if I had a major issue other than go to an immediate care clinic or ER and get a referral from them.

So I ask other Mustachians: Do you have a PCP? If not, how are your routine heath issues handled and is it working out for you? If so, how did you find and choose them? Do you have kids? (I suspect families with kids are more likely to have some sort of primary care doctor or pediatrician, so it's relevant.)

slappy

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 12:42:55 PM »
I have one. I think I'm required to have someone's name as my PCP for insurance and scheduling purposes. I've only seen him once or twice. Usually I see whoever is available. Same with my son. He has a PCP Pedi, but she happens to have the same day off that I do, so he rarely sees her.  I believe he is usually scheduled with someone on her "team" though.

Felicity

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 12:44:58 PM »
The biggest thing to do is ask beforehand - confirm it's a routine annual physical, and that all blood work will be covered. The office should be able to do this ahead of time by communicating with insurance. In some cases, you might be able to call your insurance and get a list of covered preventative procedures and labs (with the correct charge codes), and you can take this in with you to help assure appropriate billing.

Do you need referrals for specialists? My HDHP doesn't require this, and it looks like many don't in general.

I really like my PCP, and her office has never inappropriately charged, nor has my insurance made a mistake. I consciously chose a practice a little farther away, in a fancier neighborhood, due to their location and patient-centered focus. Huge difference from the place down the road, which is sad...

My husband's insurance, on the other hand...he just had an annual physical where the claim was processed incorrectly by insurance, leading the lab to send us a bill for a couple hundred dollars. Thankfully a quick (ish) phone call later and his insurance corrected the claim. The year before that, though...months of back and forth between Dr. office, lab, and insurance, and we still ended up paying hundreds of dollars for a test he didn't need (and of course he wasn't informed that the test was "extra"). That was when we discovered his insurance has a handy dandy list of covered preventive codes that we (or a competent office) could have made use of beforehand.


hops

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 12:51:10 PM »
Having a good relationship with my PCP has been financially beneficial; I can usually call or e-mail her office about minor issues (like a recurring sinus problem or a rash) that she'll resolve without requiring a visit, provided she's seen me within the last six months or so. I wish I could use her more often since my PPO's co-pay is $20 for PCP visits and $40 for specialists, but my charming collection of chronic illnesses requires more specialized care. She's better at keeping track of all those problems than her ever-growing roster of NPs, which is another point in her favor.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 12:53:13 PM by hops »

SomedayStache

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 01:11:10 PM »
Posting to follow as I wonder this myself.

When I got my first grown-up job and health insurance (after being uncovered all throughout college)  I gleefully signed up for an annual.   The doctor basically said "why are you here?  You're perfectly fine.  No need to see you again for a few years."

That one visit involved a mixup with health care codes and an incorrect bill going to collections before it was dismissed as incorrect.  That experience made me reluctant to pay money for someone to basically tell me I'm wasting their time.

I did try again a few years later because I figured I should establish a PCP just in case.  That visit went fine with no insurance mix-ups, but again felt like a waste of my time and hers.  It's also no use trying to visit my PCP if I'm sick, because even established patients can't be seen without at least a wait of a few weeks.  The wait for a new patient appointment was on the order of months, so just jumping that hurdle to become an established patient might be worth one visit.

I haven't been back for a few years and have trouble even remembering the name of my PCP.  I hope I am still on their books as an esablished patient.

norabird

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 01:14:26 PM »
I'm an unmarried 32 yo and have a NP who is effectively my PCP. I love her and hope she never retires. She is the bees knees and has helped me out in so many ways over the years--ob/gyn issues, random sicknesses, the time she let me have sleeping pills because I was a mess, etc. I can usually get in same-day and she has answered questions for me by phone. Seriously, she is a goddess. Your current mix sounds as if it's doing well for you though so a change isn't urgent.

goatmom

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 01:21:51 PM »
I think it is a good idea to have someone who knows you name and face.  I moved recently and haven't found someone yet.  My gyn was kind enough to take care of everything I needed at the last appt.  (refills, mammogram order, thyroid refer)  I am in the market for a good internist.

ysette9

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 03:12:29 PM »
I have a PCP because I have Kaiser and so it is quick, easy, and encouraged. Kaiser is great about the preventative medicine aspect of healthcare. Also, being part of an HMO means I don't have to guess or get hit with unexpected charges later in the mail. This makes it much easier to plan. I can't imagine the hell people not with Kaiser (or similar, if it exists) go through battling referrals, out of network doctors, unexpected bills, and the overall uncertainty of having no idea what things will cost.

I can completely understand the OP's reluctance to go to a PCP given the lukewarm reception and the hefty bill.

justajane

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 03:54:09 PM »
I have an internist. Does that qualify as a PCP in your book? I think he is invaluable, although I get frustrated by how he reacts to anything related to my lady parts. That leads to an immediate, "Well you'll have to ask your OB-GYN about that." I want someone who looks at my health holistically, and for me, that sometimes means that I get as much holistic health at my OB-GYN than I do elsewhere.

Having said that, my internist was incredible when I was hospitalized for an extreme ear infection. After I was discharged, he sat me down and went over all the test results and cat scans in a way that the hospitologist didn't. I think for post-hospitalization care this would be a very good touchstone.

Plus, now that he knows me, I have been able to call and get prescriptions like Z-pacs and Zofran for my migraines, without him needing to see me. Otherwise, I would need to call the ENT for a sinus infection and well, that's $$$$$.

I don't really go to the internist for things that a specialist would do, in large part because usually they refer you anyway. For instance, I never saw him when I broke my foot or when I had a hip problem recently. I went straight to the orthopedist.

But bronchitis, infections, possible pneumonia, etc? A PCP or an internist is the way to go.

BlueMR2

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2016, 04:10:52 PM »
I have a PCP.  Although, I haven't seen him in many years.  Being middle aged with no kids there aren't any routine medical needs (although I will reach the age of starting some standard tests shortly).

Cassie

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 04:16:44 PM »
Even though the doc billed your insurance for 700 does not mean it paid that much. I see it all the time where I have a small co-pay and the insurance pays the negotiated rate which is much less then the billed rate. I have a PCP and think it is a good idea.

notactiveanymore

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2016, 05:25:36 PM »
I'm 26 and I have the same PCP that I randomly selected 8 years ago when I was a freshman in college. It's been really great for me to not have to re-explain every weird blip on my medical history (yeah, that time I passed out 4 times in a row, that time I had an unexplained seizure, that time I got whooping cough, those times I had MRSA...). I've got mental health medication maintenance that's pretty simple, but it's really nice not to have to re-hash the details of my anxiety/depression. Instead I just check in yearly and he makes sure everything is going okay and I'm not falling into a depression hole. As someone who gets a fair bit of white-coat syndrome, I've really appreciated that we have a good rapport and I feel listened to.

I also last year got set-up with a more local obgyn for my yearlies. I'd been going somewhere 30 miles away, but I wanted to build up a bit of a relationship before trying to get preggo in a couple years. I plan to stay with her for awhile.

I don't think it's strictly necessary to have a PCP. I just have trouble with feeling comfortable with doctors following a gyno telling me my excruciating cyst ruptures were probably just cramps and a neurologist not believing I had an actual seizure (which was witnessed by 15 people).

Beardog

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2016, 05:36:31 PM »
Having a good relationship with my PCP has been financially beneficial; I can usually call or e-mail her office about minor issues (like a recurring sinus problem or a rash) that she'll resolve without requiring a visit, provided she's seen me within the last six months or so. ...

This has been my experience as well with my PCP.  We have a secure email system for communicating with medical staff.  If I need to see someone ASAP, I often get referred to a nurse practitioner.  But the nurse practitioner may bring my PCP in for part of the consult.  My PCP has often emailed me to check up on me and has even called me at home to make sure I was recovering from an illness.  What lucky star did I fall from?

katsiki

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2016, 05:52:09 PM »
I have one.  However, I am hoping to see him less due to a new tele-medicine benefit through work.  (I'm amazed that they can prescribe stuff without seeing you in person btw).

LeRainDrop

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2016, 05:57:42 PM »
Yes, I have a PCP.  I technically had one for about a decade whom I rarely went to see, as I was generally healthy and still saw my OB-GYN annually anyway.  But a few years ago, I got super-stressed dealing with a bully supervisor at work and also with a variety of serious family issues (my parents and a sibling) that I was getting extremely anxious, depressed, and physical symptoms from that, so I went back to see my PCP.  Since then, I've needed different medications and surgery for some ailments, so I make sure to see him for an annual physical and occasional follow-ups related to my conditions.  He is seriously amazing in how he asks questions, listens to me, assesses the possibilities, makes recommendations, answers my emails or requests for RX renewals, remembers me the next time I see him, etc.  I would say that having a PCP since I was about 30 or 31 has been a great thing for me.

Background:  Single female, no kids.  I found my PCP because I was telling my friend at work that I should probably get one, and she said that she absolutely loved hers, her whole family goes to him, and she strongly recommends him.  Based on that, I chose her PCP to be my PCP.  My employer also just started offering the tele-medicine benefit, so I expect I may take advantage of that for more minor things, but I haven't needed to yet.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 06:07:25 PM by LeRainDrop »

Pigeon

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2016, 06:00:22 PM »
I've got an HMO that's actually wonderful.  If you use this HMO, you have to have a PCP.  I rarely see mine--I typically get my annual physical from a PA who works in her office.  On occasion if I have to go in for something I get the doc.  It all works well for me.

When I was younger, I didn't think I needed an annual physical.  I probably didn't, but not having one was a giant pain.  Around here, it's common that if you don't go to the office once every couple of years, the PCP will drop you as a patient.  If you then want to see them, you are considered a new patient, and it will take a good year to get an appointment, that is if they are even taking new patients.  So, if you don't have a PCP, you are largely cut off from getting health care on my insurance plan because you need a referral for a specialist and it will take a full year for a regular appointment to get that referral.  Nearly every PCP in the area takes this HMO insurance, it's just very hard to find a PCP as a new patient.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 06:07:03 PM by Pigeon »

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2016, 06:17:56 PM »
We didn't get a PCP until we had been married for about a year (out in the workforce for ~3) and now that we have one, I would never consider moving anywhere and not trying to get a good PCP right away.  It's so much better to have someone you know than going in to see a different urgent care doc every time you're sick. 

The practice we go to for primary care is actually husband & wife ODs and an amazing PA.  I think my PCP is technically the wife, and Mr PoP's is technically the husband, but all 3 are great and have a similar philosophy on medicine and we both have seen all of them depending on who had availability.  The practice is within walking distance (or a ~5 minute bike) from our house, and they know us well enough now that if we call and say it's urgent enough that we need to come in that they make time for us with one of the 3 within 24 hours.  Charges seem pretty reasonable - a non-well-visit on Mr PoP's HDHP usually runs us ~$75 or so (well visits are no copay, I believe), and they're pretty generous with sample medications if they prescribe anything, so that saves some money especially with the HDHP. 

Wherever you end up, make nice with the office staff, and always request that they use in-network labs.  That should go a long way to avoiding $-surprises. 

galliver

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2016, 07:06:01 PM »
I sort of have one but I haven't seen him in over a year. I only found/picked a doctor because I was sick and wanted to see one. I developed a persistent, nasty cough when I moved to CA 1.5 years ago and the nurses at the campus health center tried, but weren't having any luck helping me. Honestly, I'm not sure the doc was that much better, since in retrospect I think I had whooping cough and he diagnosed allergies/asthma (my mom, from the generation that still suffered from it, says I sounded like it, and the symptoms I had pretty much match accounts of adult pertussis). But the inhaler he prescribed worked, and he was willing to consider a much wider array of choices than cold/flu/bronchitis. I think generally I think I/one should pick out a doctor and establish oneself as a patient after relocating, just to have someone all ready to call if a situation comes up before resorting to ER/Urgent Care, but in practice I can't say I've been good about doing that. Also I'm unaccustomed to physicals if I don't have a reason for them, so that's a weird thing for me to set up. I do have an ObGyn for obvious routine purposes; somehow I never considered going to PP for that...maybe because I've always been  under good insurance coverage? I did use the campus health center at my last (large) university, which offered such services (among many others, this place was a pretty fantastic resource).  I also have a dentist I go to for cleanings.

As far as picking a PCP, I think they can be very hit or miss. When I was picking one out, I found Yelp was actually a great resource in my area, but I know that's not the case nearly everywhere. I was looking for someone who would really listen to all aspects of my complaint and then explain their diagnosis in sufficient detail that I could walk out knowing more about my body, its malfunction, and how I/we were going to fix it than when I went in. That may or may not be something high on your list of priorities.

Rural

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2016, 07:07:12 PM »
We have a good one running his own single-doc family practice, and he's wonderful. Can get in same day if you wake up sick (less likely if you start feeling sick after lunch), and always see the doctor as there isn't anyone else. Also took my husband in immediately when he walked in, no call even, with a house-building injury (tetanus shot and a couple stitches). Plus he listens.


ETA husband would have called except he hurt himself during the hour the doc closes for lunch. So he walked in just as they all got back.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 07:10:19 PM by Rural »

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2016, 07:19:30 PM »
Yes.

Internal Medicine doc for DW & me.  Pediatrician for the boys. 

I have a HDHP but my insurance covers one well check / annual exam each.  NP or PA is sometimes offered when making appointments, but we generally wait to see our physician. 

southern granny

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2016, 10:01:12 PM »
Yes, I have a PCP.  When my back goes out, I can go to him and get pain pills.  If I didn't have him and went to a clinic or new doctor they are not going to believe I have a real problem.  They are going to think I am shopping for pain pills and send me on my way.  My doctor knows that I won't ask for pain medicine unless I REALLY need it.  It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. 

Cressida

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2016, 11:04:06 PM »
I have a PCP because I have Kaiser and so it is quick, easy, and encouraged. Kaiser is great about the preventative medicine aspect of healthcare. Also, being part of an HMO means I don't have to guess or get hit with unexpected charges later in the mail. This makes it much easier to plan. I can't imagine the hell people not with Kaiser (or similar, if it exists) go through battling referrals, out of network doctors, unexpected bills, and the overall uncertainty of having no idea what things will cost.

+1

MsPeacock

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2016, 11:12:27 AM »
I have a PCP who I see occasionally. He knows me and is useful for the things that he does. The last couple years have been a circus of health problems, so I see specialists way more often than I see my PCP. I would say that my rheumatologist knows me better than any of my doctors. If I have something urgent that needs attention (pulled back out, suspect strep throat or flu, etc.) I am more likely to go to the quick-doc near my house because they are open until midnight.

So glad that I have insurance that does not require a referral to see a specialist, has reasonable co-pays, and is very widely accepted (making it easy to see someone "in network.").

The insurance that my kids have (under their dad's policy) which is a circus of getting referrals, long waits for available appointments, only one pharmacy that is covered, few providers, and constant billing problems (every.single.appointment.). It has low co-pays and I guess low premiums, but it such a giant pain in the butt.

Sibley

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2016, 10:38:21 AM »
I have a PCP. The thing with a good PCP is you don't need one, until you do. I had a PCP when I lived in CA whom I just didn't get along with at all. Not a problem, until I got sick and wasn't getting better. I was actually really mad at them afterwards because the problem was asthma flaring up along with the virus, and they couldn't figure it out. I ended up in the ER one night because I was in so much pain from coughing that I thought I'd cracked a rib (it turned out to be muscle strains from too much coughing). The ER doctor recognized the asthma and prescribed something to knock that down, after I'd been into the regular doctor a couple of times and they couldn't figure it out. It was a couple of months until I felt back to normal.

My current PCP I like. I've only seen him once thus far for asthma, then had some email back and forth then got sent to an allergist to figure out what was going on. Now that we know what's causing the asthma, I'll go back to the PCP to keep it controlled, since he can probably handle it just fine. I also liked the allergist I saw though. I respond quite well to a very practical attitude, and both of them displayed it.

big_owl

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2016, 10:46:02 AM »
I do but I've found them to be pretty useless.  I've had two in the past ten years and they have both been a waste of my time.  Frankly I usually end up knowing more about what's wrong with me than she does.  Then it just ends up wasting time because I have to wait a week to get into PCP...after one or two visits where I tell her what's wrong and she doubts me then does tests and confirms...I get referred to a specialist anyway.  By then I've wasted several weeks and everything is worse off than if I just went to the specialist to begin with.

MandalayVA

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2016, 12:08:53 PM »
Ginormocorp's health plan allows you to choose a urgent care clinic as your PCP, so that's what I did as I rarely get sick, last summer's episode notwithstanding (long story).  The clinics share information so I can go to any one and it can pull up my medical history. 

FIRE me

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2016, 05:21:09 PM »

So I ask other Mustachians: Do you have a PCP? If not, how are your routine heath issues handled and is it working out for you? If so, how did you find and choose them? Do you have kids? (I suspect families with kids are more likely to have some sort of primary care doctor or pediatrician, so it's relevant.)

I have one. But I quit seeing him.

I've had bad luck with my last three PCPs, and one specialist. I've given up on annual physicals, preventive care, and seeing them for minor issues.
 
Like you, I find them to be pill pushers. Pills with serious side effects. And pushing procedures of dubious merit, ones with risk of serious complications.

For minor issues, I just suffer until it quits hurting (I have Musculoskeletal disorders), or in the case of infection until my immune system does its job.

I've been surprised at how often I get better, given time, without pills, procedures, surgery, or doctor visits.

That's not to say I think I will always get better without medical care. For certain types of things, like for example cancer, heart attack, serious injury, or rabid animal bite, I would run not walk to appropriate medical care.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2016, 05:42:36 PM »
My primary care is a nurse practitioner. I like her a lot but haven't seen her in awhile because all my care last year was with various OBs

ysette9

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2016, 11:51:39 AM »
Quote
My sister has Kaiser and while they are great for not having to worry about crazy bills popping up for everything they can also be just as bad as other HMOs in terms of long waits for approvals to get tests/MRIs and to see specialist.

I have heard a small handful of horror stories like that about Kaiser but I have also been told that it used to be worse in the 90s and that they have much improved since then. When did your sister have her experience?

I can only go off of my own experience which has been nothing short of fantastic. I had a very stressful and high risk pregnancy 2 years ago and ended up going in to see my perinatologist (high-risk pregnancy doctor) every week. She couldn't have been more helpful and understanding, got me on reduced duty at work, and even referred me to the department's counselor to help me deal with the stress. I give all the credit to Kaiser, my doctor, and their willingness to think outside the box and give me a lot of hands-on care for my daughter being alive and healthy today.

galliver

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2016, 12:28:13 PM »
I have a PCP. The thing with a good PCP is you don't need one, until you do. I had a PCP when I lived in CA whom I just didn't get along with at all. Not a problem, until I got sick and wasn't getting better. I was actually really mad at them afterwards because the problem was asthma flaring up along with the virus, and they couldn't figure it out. I ended up in the ER one night because I was in so much pain from coughing that I thought I'd cracked a rib (it turned out to be muscle strains from too much coughing). The ER doctor recognized the asthma and prescribed something to knock that down, after I'd been into the regular doctor a couple of times and they couldn't figure it out. It was a couple of months until I felt back to normal.

My current PCP I like. I've only seen him once thus far for asthma, then had some email back and forth then got sent to an allergist to figure out what was going on. Now that we know what's causing the asthma, I'll go back to the PCP to keep it controlled, since he can probably handle it just fine. I also liked the allergist I saw though. I respond quite well to a very practical attitude, and both of them displayed it.

Given that you cracked a rib from coughing and "wasn't getting better" I wonder if you had pertussis, probably interacting with the asthma, too. I had a cough that lasted 4 weeks before I picked out and went to a doctor, who called it asthma/allergies aggravated by a move to a new climate (makes sense, except: I had never had asthma or allergies before!). He prescribed an inhaler which seemed to help the intensity and frequency of my coughing spells, but they lasted another 4-6 weeks after that anyway. In retrospect, my symptoms seem to match everything I can track down on pertussis in previously-vaccinated adults, and my mom said my cough "sounded like it". So I don't know, but I'm suspicious. My friend, on the other hand, twisted her doctor's arm (metaphorically!) to get him to do a test and lo and behold, it was whooping cough. She didn't get it from me; separate incident months or years and thousands of miles apart. But I think one of her siblings had already been diagnosed so she knew to ask.

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2016, 02:35:06 PM »
I recently acquired a PCP.  For years I just went to the relevant specialist for routine stuff (ob/gyn and dermatologist, mainly), and on the rare occasions when something else went wrong I'd find the appropriate specialist (orthopedist, ear-nose-throat, etc.) in the insurance company directory.  I didn't deliberately not have a PCP, I just never saw the need.

More recently, though, I've had a couple random things crop up for which it seemed to make more sense to see a general practitioner because I wasn't sure what kind of specialist to see (weird throbbing behind my knee, for example).  So I found a doctor nearby, and I have to say that I do like having an all-purpose doctor's office to go to. 

JustTrying

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2016, 08:49:32 PM »
I have a PCP, and I'd recommend having one because often if you suddenly find yourself in need of a doctor, it's a lot easier to be seen if you already have a PCP. For example, if I need a strep throat test, I can go to Urgent Care, or I can get an urgent appointment at my primary care doctor's office. Urgent Care is more costly than the primary care doctor's office, so it's nice to have a PCP. Without a PCP I'd be forced to pay the price for Urgent Care.

But more importantly, your reason for not returning to that PCP you previously saw is concerning to me. I'd encourage you in the future to not be afraid to call and challenge medical bills. I've always been healthy, but I'm now pregnant which means I've had the eye-opening experience of dealing with lots of medical bills. I've caught mistakes and had them remedied. I'm only halfway through my pregnancy, and already I've saved hundreds of dollars by noticing problems with my bills and calling the appropriate place (practitioner's office or insurance company) to remedy problems that I've seen.

StarBright

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Re: Do you have a primary care physician?
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2016, 07:21:52 AM »
Seconding JustTrying - just get the PCP.

I haven't had a PCP for years because the wait to have the initial visit was just so long that I never bothered. I also almost never got sick until I had children so it wasn't a big deal. In the last 12 months I've ended up at urgent care 7 times for strep, pneumonia, pink eye, and severe ear and sinus infections.

I have a high deductible plan and the frequent visits are getting expensive.

I booked a "new patient" appointment back in December and my appointment is next week. Because I have a high deductible I've stated upfront that I don't want any labwork done or anything. They won't be doing anything other than taking my vitals and listing me as a patient so that I can get in the next time I have an illness.