PCP is a term that’s been coming up in my life a lot lately. I hear it particularly when talking to these people about the trouble I’m having getting the doctor to help me get the CPAP machine.

So, PCP stands for either primary care physician or primary care provider.

Your PCP could be a doctor, nurse practicioner, pediatrician,  physician assistant or other similar individual who practices general medicine and oversees your care.

For me, the two key points are that the PCP:

1. practices general medicine

2. oversees your care

So, to be more specific, when my back first started causing me tremendous pain and misery, I saw my PCP about it. And, he’s the one who set the agenda. He told me what to do, where to go, who to see. He told me the dates that I’d be getting MRIs and such. He even selected the surgeon who would do the surgery.

Now, I don’t know how standard that is…I have a feeling it might be because it was a Medicaid insurance scenario.

I’ve read accounts of people “interviewing” various back surgeons/neurosurgeons and deciding who will do their actual surgery. When you’re broke and on Medicaid, you ain’t doing any interviewing. You get told who’s doing it. At least that’s how it worked in my situation. It happened to work out very well for me! My PCP picked someone excellent. My PCP has up to now been awesome. That’s why it’s baffling and maybe even a bit sad that he’s not contacting me any longer.

Anyway, the point being that the PCP is sort of the nexus coordinator of your healthcare.

And, when—as in my present case—your PCP isn’t returning your calls: you’ve got a big fucking problem. Because the individual who’s at the very center of your physical well-being has decided that you’re no longer going to have someone coordinating the care required to maintain your physical well being.

So, enough about PCPs.