Why You Need A Primary Care Physician
When it comes to medical decisions, your primary care doctor is your first
stop. Choosing the right primary care physician (PCP) is an important
decision for you and your family. The health care professionals at Torrance
Memorial Physician Network will stay informed and involved with any medical
treatment you require and will help you live your best life!
Why is having a primary care doctor so important?
The role of a PCP has become crucial in the managed health care landscape.
A PCP is often what most people just think of as their “doctor.”
“In today’s health care system, the PCP has even more significance,
especially for Medicare patients,” says Torrance Memorial Physician
Network internal medicine physician Hiva Bastanmehr, MD. “Patients
in this age group may encounter more health challenges, as well as limitations
in hearing, seeing, memory loss and other age-related conditions.”
What does a PCP do?
“We see Medicare patients on a very regular basis,” says Dr.
Bastanmehr, “at the very least once a year because of the annual
Medicare senior wellness exam. That’s when I go through my patient’s
chart and check for any new allergies or surgeries, any changes in the
family—especially cancer or heart disease because they have a direct
impact on them. We review immunizations, screen for depression and perform
memory testing. We like to look at the whole patient.”
What is an important factor to consider when choosing a primary care doctor?
“You have to be able to communicate with your PCP,” says Dr.
Bastanmehr. “We all do better if we feel we are heard and when communication
is in a style we can identify with. Sometimes it’s just the comfort
level you have. Be sure to find the right fit for your particular needs."
What if my primary care doctor is not a good fit?
“Communication is the key to a successful doctor/patient relationship,”
Dr. Bastanmehr explains. “You can always change. That said, it’s
always better the longer you are with one doctor. They get to know you,
know your family and your issues, how you react to things.”
Why not go straight to a specialist?
You can do that, of course, especially with certain HMOs and medical groups
like THIPA. But Dr. Bastanmehr sees the PCP’s role as crucial here,
too. “People think they have their symptoms diagnosed and are all
ready to go to a specialist,” she says, “But sometimes a primary
care doctor can get you to who you need to see first, helping you to avoid
going down the wrong path. We are here for you, and it is always in our
best interest to get you where you need to be!”
Hiva Bastanmehr, MD, is a primary care physician with the Torrance Memorial
Physician Network – Palos Verdes. She practices at 602 Deep Valley
Drive, Suite 300 in Rolling Hills Estates. She can be reached at 310-517-4692.