What’s a PCP?
Primary care providers (PCPs) for adults at MIT Medical include doctors and nurse practitioners who specialize in internal medicine, family medicine, or adolescent medicine. In some countries, PCPs are called “generalists,” because they can handle most of your healthcare needs.
The PCP you choose will be your personal clinician—the one you’ll visit for most of your care and with whom you’ll discuss your health concerns and questions. And if you change your mind about your PCP choice, it’s easy to switch.
What does a PCP do?
Your PCP—either a nurse practitioner or a physician—will be the clinician you see in most non-urgent situations. Your PCP will handle:
- Routine care, like regular physical exams and health-screening tests.
- Care for non-emergency problems, like a cough that isn’t getting better or a minor injury.
- Referral decisions. If your PCP thinks you need to see a sub-specialist (for example, a cardiologist or neurologist) or have a diagnostic procedure at MIT Medical or elsewhere, they will request a referral.
- Management of chronic conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or acid reflux.
- Care coordination if you develop complicated medical problems, need to see multiple specialists, or are hospitalized. In these situations, your PCP will be part of a care team at MIT Medical that will make sure everyone is working together to provide the care you need, when you need it.
Communicating with your PCP
If you need to communicate with your PCP outside of a regular office visit, you can:
- Call your PCP’s office directly. This is the best communication method to use if you have an urgent need. You’ll speak with one of our triage nurses and, if necessary, your PCP will call you back.
- Send a secure message to your provider through our online patient portal, HealthELife. When you send a message through HealthELife, you will receive an answer within two business days. You can also use HealthELife to request appointments and prescription refills and view lab results.
Your primary care provider (PCP) may be one of several participating in a team-based-care pilot that began in September 2018. With team-based care, you’ll have a care team that will include your PCP, a nurse, a medical assistant, and a clinical assistant, all of whom will take the time to get to know you and your healthcare needs. As needed, your team may expand to include clinicians from various subspecialty areas within MIT Medical, including nutritionists, orthopedists, and others. Your team members will work collaboratively with each other and with you to provide coordinated, high-quality, personalized care.
MIT Medical is piloting this approach to care delivery, because we believe that working as a team will allow us to be even more responsive in providing the care you need when you need it. We’ll make sure you are able to see your PCP promptly when necessary. At other times, another member of your healthcare team might have the expertise you need most. With a whole team available, we can avoid unnecessary delays in providing care, because we can get you in to see the right person at the right time.