Primary Care

The purpose of a primary care provider is to provide on-going regular care, manage chronic disease, routine screenings, identify health issues early, and offer treatment with an individual with whom you can build a lasting relationship. Primary care physicians are generalists who offer holistic assessment and support of your medical and mental health needs.

Establishing a trusting and sound relationship with a primary care provider can be one of the most important health decisions you make. This is an opportunity to identify your health interests and needs, find a practice or provider of interest and reach out to them to learn more. This webpage provides information on how to identify a primary care provider, how to call for an appointment and considerations for your initial visit. We invite to read through this information before starting your exploration.

Boston is home to many medical resources, below is a list of local primary care practices, where you can establish treatment.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Advanced Primary Care Associates

301 South Huntington Avenue

Garden Level

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130


Fenway Health

Primary Care

1340 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02215


Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates

165 Dartmouth Street

Boston, MA 02116


Patient Registration at 1-800-249-1767

Holtzman Medical Group

1180 Beacon St – Suite B
Brookline, MA 02446
Book online yourself.
Fill out the online form if you want their office to call you to schedule

[email protected]

Massachusetts General Hospital (various locations)

Primary Care

55 Fruit Street

Boston, MA 02144


One Medical

28 State Street

Suite 2860

Boston, MA 02109

Tel: 617-903-5000

Tufts Medical Center

Primary Care

260 Tremont St.

Biewend Building

Boston, MA 02111


Choosing a Primary Care Provider

When looking for a primary care provider there are a few qualities to consider: good communication, proximity to home or school, and someone who is qualified to manage your current health concerns and needs. If you have a complicated medical history or need management of on-going medical concerns, it is important to ensure that the provider has experience with your health needs.

More generally, a provider you feel comfortable speaking with and who communicates well, are cornerstones of developing a lasting treatment relationship. Primary care providers who are part of a larger multidisciplinary team can offer more services in one setting and may be beneficial if you need or want further support. 

If you are healthy, establishing a Primary Care now, can help you meet any goals you have, coordinate care in the future and be there when and if you need them.

How do I get started with finding a Primary care provider?

Start by reviewing your health insurance plan information. Visit the plans website where you can review your individual plan and identify providers who accept that insurance.

Steps to finding a PCP

  1. Visit your health insurance website and navigate their Find a Provider list.
  2. Fill in the necessary information – usually this is the location you are seeking an appointment. It is important to consider if you would like a provider near to campus or close to where you are living. Be mindful that your residence may change during your time at Northeastern.
  3. Review the names of doctors listed by your network and identify those who are accepting new patients.
  4. Narrow the list to providers who meet your needs (proximity, gender, language, accepting new patients).
  5. Check out the providers information on their website. The information typically includes specialty areas of primary care (women’s health, internal medicine, weight management, etc.).

These steps can help you narrow down to a few providers that meet you needs.

Questions to consider when deciding on a primary care provider

  • Do you have a gender preference for the provider?
  • What are the credentials? How many total years have they been in practice?
  • Where did they go to medical school?
  • Are they board-certified?
  • Is it important that the provider have training in LGBTQ medical care?
  • Do they have a website? Look for transparent pricing, reviews, doctor bio and services clearly listed.
  • Do they take your insurance? Do they offer self-pay pricing?
  • Do they have an affiliation with a hospital?
  • Do you prefer someone who speaks multiple languages?
  • Are you looking for a someone who specializes in women’s health?

You’ve decided on who you want to see, now what?

Call the office and ask how to set up a new patient appointment. Confirm that the provider is accepting new patients. Ask what you need to do prior to your first appointment. Offices that are associated with a hospital may require you to register with the hospital as a patient first. This is an easy process and typically requires a call to registration. When making calls to the primary care office or hospital, be sure to have your insurance card to reference, should they ask for that information.

Preparing for your initial visit

In advance of your first visit with a primary care provider, you will need to obtain a copy of your medical record or ask your previous provider to forward your record. You may need to sign a release of information for your record to be sent to a new provider, so be sure to start the process well in advance of your scheduled appointment.

Bring your insurance card to your first visit for confirmation with the provider and the staff of your insurance plan and coverage.

When thinking about what to discuss with the provider for the first time, consider what are the important qualities. Is there information about their education you want to know more about? What is important in your health and wellness journey that you would like support and guidance on? If you have a chronic condition, what services does the provider or practice offer or suggest for more acute concerns.

Questions for your first visit

  • What are your office hours? Do you have evening or weekend hours available?
  • Are translation services available?
  • How many patients are currently in your practice? Do you have a limit of the number of patients you will accept?
  • How long do patients typically wait for appointments? Do you make same and next-day appointments for urgent matters?
  • What are your average wait times?
  • Do you offer basic lab tests in your office, or will I have to go somewhere else?
  • Tell me about your after-hours policies. What happens if I have an emergency?
  • Do you work with a certain hospital?  Will you be involved in my care if I get admitted to a hospital?
  • Can I call or email you with non-urgent questions?  How long can I expect it to take for you to get back to me?
  • Is this a group practice? Will I ever see Physician’s Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) or another doctor?
  • Can I bring a friend or family member with me to my appointments?
  • How do you provide prescriptions? Do you offer prescription coordination, free delivery or preferred programs?
  • What level of communication can I expect? Can I speak to the doctor directly when I call in?
  • How do you handle specialist referrals? Can you personally expedite appointments with specialists, avoid duplicate orders, etc.?
  • Do you have expertise treating my condition?

Ongoing care expectations

You are a steward in your health care journey. If you have questions or are unclear what the provider is discussing or asking, it is important to ask for clarification, more information, or take time to make a decision that will impact your health, treatment or on-going care. Your primary care provider should be a partner in your health, and you are your best advocate.

Is my Primary Care Confidential?

All licensed medical and mental health providers are required to comply with the Health Information Privacy and Portability Act (HIPPA). When starting with a new provider, you will be asked to sign a privacy notice. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality they include:

  • If a clinician has reason to believe that there is imminent danger of serious harm to yourself or others, they may share information and take appropriate steps to prevent harm.
  • If a clinician has reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18), an elderly person (60 or over), or a disabled person is being abused or neglected, they are obligated to report this situation to the appropriate state agency.
  • A court may subpoena medical and mental health records.

If you have any concerns or questions about privacy, please ask your primary care provider directly.

When do I go to my PCP vs. UHCS?

Establishing a primary care provider offers and opportunity to build a long-term relationship on your health journey. At times, it may make sense for you to access UHCS in lieu ofyour primary care. It is recommended that you contact your primary care office first and then reach out to UHCS.