Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a primary-care physician (PCP)?

PCPs – also known as internists, family doctors or general practitioners – look at the big picture of your health, with an emphasis on screening and prevention. With a PCP, you and your physician get to know each other personally, which ultimately drives better and more efficient solutions for when you need them. 

 

What is the difference between family medicine and internal medicine?

Both these types of physicians treat a wide range of conditions. Family practitioners have the ability and training to work with patients from infancy to end of life; internists, on the other hand, have more of a focus on adult and senior health, and the conditions that commonly affect an adult population.

 

Both family doctors and internists will refer you to specialists whenever the scope of your care requires it.

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What is a specialist?

Unlike PCPs, specialists have advanced training and degrees in specific areas of medicine, such as oncology (cancer) or pulmonology (lung health). Within specialists are subspecialists whose expertise focuses on very specific conditions, such as breast cancer or lung cancer.

 

Your PCP will help you arrange to get care from a specialist if you need one, then stays in the loop throughout your treatment with any specialist you see.

 

How does American West HealthCare Solutions help me find the specialists I need?

When you need specialist care in Orange County, help is just a phone call or email away. Our dedicated, multilingual Care Representatives can assist you in getting in contact with specialists and address concerns so you have clear directions on your next steps.