Frequently asked questions

Family medicine team in Arizona

Who is primary care for?

Primary Care in Arizona is for people of all ages. Whether you are healthy, sick or living with a chronic condition, we provide whole-person care to support your needs. Primary Care in Arizona includes four practices in six valley locations, each of which serves different people and needs:

Primary Care — Community Internal Medicine (Scottsdale)
Primary Care — Family Medicine Arrowhead (Glendale)
Primary Care — Family Medicine Thunderbird (Scottsdale)
Primary Care — Phoenix
Primary Care — San Tan (Chandler)
Primary Care — Women's Health Internal Medicine (Scottsdale)

What is a primary care provider?

A primary care provider is a medical professional who takes care of people with common medical problems. Primary care providers are often doctors, but they may also be nurse practitioners or physician assistants. They are responsible for monitoring your overall health care needs. They partner with other members of the team in caring for you.

Some patients receive care from medical residents. These residents have completed four years of college, four years of medical school and often one to three years of postgraduate training. They are licensed physicians who work in close partnership with your other care team members.

Will I always see my assigned primary care provider?

Your primary care provider is a member of your care team, and while he or she will continue to oversee your care, there may be instances where your needs are better met by different, more-specialized team members. The care you receive from different team members will be discussed with your primary care provider. Over time, our hope is that you will get to know the members of your team and gain confidence in the care that they are able to offer.

Who will see me at my next appointment?

The providers you see at an appointment will depend on the needs you have that day. Your team is committed to giving you exactly the care you need, in the most supportive and convenient way possible. You may need a nurse visit for vaccinations or an exam with a doctor or nurse practitioner to diagnose and treat an illness.

I've heard about care teams before. What's different about them now?

Mayo Clinic works hard to constantly improve the care provided to its patients. As part of these efforts, your existing primary care provider and care team have reorganized to work together more closely — collaborating on the care provided to each patient. Some teams share the same workspace. Each time you communicate with your care team through phone, secure message via Patient Online Services or a clinic visit, your team will discuss your care. Each interaction with your care team should address all of your health concerns and provide individualized advice for how to best manage and optimize your health.

What are the benefits of having a care team instead of seeing my own provider every time?

A care team improves your care in several ways. Instead of depending on just one provider, you now have an entire team supporting you. When you need to see a specialist, your care team will connect you to the right person. Your team will remind you when it's time for a preventive exam or wellness screening. Often, you'll be able to receive care more quickly than in the past because now you have more people prepared to meet your needs.

Why do I need to see the clinic pharmacist?

Some care teams include a clinic pharmacist. The pharmacist is a key member of the care team. On occasion, we may ask that you stop and talk with the pharmacist at your clinic rather than going to your usual pharmacy.

Your clinic pharmacist is in close communication with your care team, and he or she helps you manage medications, identify and resolve safety issues, and make cost-effective decisions.

What are the benefits of seeing a registered nurse for an annual wellness visit?

Medicare launched a new program that provides a comprehensive review of your wellness needs by a registered nurse. This is of great help to your primary care provider in making your visit efficient. Nurse visits are also used to follow up with you about chronic, stable conditions and to address some of your preventive care needs.

Do I really need an annual examination?

Maybe not. Whether you need an exam depends on your age, health status and health history, among other factors. You and your care team will determine the preventive health schedule that's best for you.

If you're concerned about health issues, don't wait for an annual exam. Call your care team to determine what kind of care is right for you.

Should I expect to receive a reminder each year about my need for preventive services or an annual examination?

If you are unsure whether you are due for a preventive exam, and this was not addressed at a previous visit, we encourage you to call and discuss this with a care team member.

How can I refill a prescription?

If you filled your prescription at another pharmacy, you'll need to make the request to that pharmacy directly. If your pharmacist needs more information or a renewal from your provider, he or she will contact Mayo Clinic directly to complete the refill process. Please allow about 10 days to receive your prescription.

Why should I contact my primary care team first for specialty issues instead of going directly to the specialty area?

Your primary care team is your first point of contact for all your health care needs. On some occasions, it may be more convenient for you to call dermatology, ophthalmology and other specialists as determined by their policy. But in most cases, your health history is best known by your primary care team members, and they desire to work with you to coordinate any specialty care you may need.

Who can help me figure out what care option is appropriate?

If you're uncertain about your symptoms, your care team appointment line can help guide you to the right level of care. If you're certain that you need to make an appointment (such as a well-child appointment or a follow-up visit), the staff on the appointment line will help you schedule one. You may also reach a triage nurse or a member of your care team through Patient Online Services secure messaging.

You scheduled me for an appointment with a social worker. How does this benefit me?

Efforts have been made to more closely integrate Mayo Clinic social workers into day-to-day practice. Social workers are trained to assist with a large number of problems, including counseling people on stress-related concerns and connecting them with the right social service.

Sept. 15, 2020