Primary Care Physician Referral To Specialist

Your primary care physician serves as the entry point for substantially all of your medical and health care needs. He or she is your advocate in coordinating the use of the entire health care system to benefit you and takes continuing responsibility for providing your care so it is required that you should search for primary care physician referral to specialist.  

Primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. By regularly seeing a primary care practitioner, you can identify and control health risk factors before they become problems. Your primary care practitioner encourages you to take charge of your health and is a trusted partner in an environment where you can feel comfortable and known.


Primary Care Physician Referral To Specialist

All doctors are not alike. Different health care professionals with different types of education can provide health care. Adults in your family could see an internist. Children could go to a pediatrician. Or the whole family could see a family medicine doctor. You could have a family medicine doctor and an obstetrician/gynecologist, or an internist and a geriatrician. If it's right for you, it's the right choice. 

In defining primary care, it is necessary to describe the nature of services provided to patients, as well as to identify who are the primary care providers. The domain of primary care includes the primary care physician, other physicians who include some primary care services in their practices, and some non-physician providers. However, central to the concept of primary care is the patient. Therefore, such definitions are incomplete without including a description of the primary care practice.

There are many reasons you might need to see a doctor. Sometimes, you need to see your primary care physician for a routine checkup or preventive care such as immunizations. Other times, you might need treatment when you’re sick. And in some cases, you might have a more serious injury or illness and need to see a specialist. No matter what your coverage is, we have doctors and other health care professionals with specialties available in many areas.

Why primary care physician referral to specialist

An important part of coordinating your care is when your PCP “refers” you to a specialist for services he or she isn’t able to provide. Your PCP works with a team of specialists in a variety of areas who are considered, by your PCP, to be excellent doctors in their respective fields. When your PCP refers you to a specialist, he or she is recommending you see a doctor whose opinion your PCP trusts and who your PCP feels is qualified to diagnose your specific condition. Your PCP and the specialist will communicate to ensure you receive the care you need.


When your PCP issues a referral to see a specialist, he or she will send the specialist the referral information. If for any reason, you arrive at your specialist appointment after receiving a referral confirmation from your PCP and are told your referral is not there, ask the specialist’s office to contact your PCP’s office to send the referral while you wait.

The Value of the Referral Process to You

> One doctor (your PCP) oversees your care and collaborates with a team of specialists to help you get the care you need
> Your PCP knows your medical history and will be involved in coordinating all aspects of your care
> Your PCP will refer you to the specialist within his/her referral circle who will best meet your needs
> Your PCP will communicate with your specialist to ensure you receive the care that is right for you

When patients require specialty care, a primary care physician (PCP), referred to as a “gatekeeper” in the healthcare industry, decides what specialist to refer the patient to. More often than not, patients must wait weeks, sometimes months, before being seen by a specialist. Lengthy wait times create frustration for both PCP’s and patients, worrying the delay will worsen the patient’s condition. 

These lengthy wait times can—and should—also drastically affect your physician referral strategy. Tracking physician-to-physician referrals over too short a time period will give you a limited and likely incomplete view of where the physicians in your area are receiving and sending their patients. So what is the best time frame in which to track physician referrals? And in a healthcare system that has some of the best specialists in the world, why the lengthy wait times for patients?


In the past, referrals to otolaryngologists from primary care physicians (PCP) were made on a person-to-person basis. Patients were referred to specialists not only due to their reputation for good patient care and communication but also because of how well the PCP and specialist got along and how well they knew each other.

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