How Do I Find a Good Primary Care Physician?

Finding the right primary care physician is the first step towards effectively managing your healthcare. After all, your primary care physician is the one you rely on for most of your and your family’s medical needs, right from routine checkups to emergency treatments. Thus, selecting such an important medical professional has to be done with a lot of care and thought. And, here are a few ideas to help you find a good primary care physician.

How Do I Find a Good Primary Care Physician?

See if the doctor is ‘in-network.’

Most of the health plans have special discounted rates for particular hospitals or doctors in your locality. Paying a visit to these doctors proves to be more affordable, and these are known as ‘in-network’ by the insurance companies. It is not like you will always have to choose someone in-network, but it’s worth looking into this because of the affordability factor.

The doctor with expertise to cure your ailment

Primary care physicians are of different types. So, there are internal medicine practitioners, general physicians, and family physicians for you to choose from. The primary care physicians for your children are known as Pediatricians. Here is a brief overview of all these three types of doctors to make it easier for you to choose.

  • Family physicians: Family physicians can treat patients of all age groups, right from the babies to the elders of the family. They can treat a wide range of conditions, including the ones for which people usually go to a specialist, like a sports injury.
  • Internal medicine practitioner: The area of expertise for these physicians is the prevention and diagnosis of chronic diseases of the adults.
  • General Physician: General physicians are almost like family physicians in the sense that they treat patients of all ages and genders. You might also find osteopaths (for the treatment related to the musculoskeletal system) under this category with D.O. written after their name and not M.D.

Look for trustworthy referrals

It is a given that you will feel much more comfortable visiting a general physician who comes recommended by your friends or family. You can ask your friends or acquaintances about the doctors they trust. You other trusted healthcare professionals, such as your dentist or pharmacist, might also refer to the name of an expert primary care physician.

Think about the location of the clinic

You need to decide whether you want the doctor to be located near your office or home. The other thing to consider is the office hours for the doctor, i.e., the time and days when he/she sees the patients. Ask yourself whether you need to take leave from the office to visit the doctor and if that is feasible for you. And, don’t forget to check which hospital the doctor sends his patients to if the need arises. Checking ‘doctors near me’ on Google might be handy for this reason.

Paying a visit to the doctor

The surest way to know that you have chosen the right physician is visiting the clinic and meeting the physician face-to-face. You need to be comfortable discussing your health issues with the physician. He/she should be patient enough to listen to your health problems and ask you about your previous medications. But, that’s not all as there are other factors as well that should influence your decision. For instance, you should if the other staffs of the clinic are polite and helpful or not. You must also take into account the details of advance booking and the usual waiting time after you reach the clinic.

So, when you look for ‘doctors near me,’ do not just pick out the first name that comes up on the search results. Take into account all the factors mentioned above before making your decision.