Finding a doctor you trust and like is an important part of protecting your health. You need someone to help you through accidents and illnesses, and to refer you to specialists when needed. Finding the right healthcare provider isn't always easy, but the search is worth it when you find a good match for your personality and medical condition. Here are some tips for helping you choose a primary doctor.
Find A Doctor Who Accepts Your Insurance
A good starting point is to narrow your search to doctors who accept your insurance. Your insurance company can send you that information by mail or you may find it on the insurance company's website. You may also want to verify that the doctor has permissions at the hospital you prefer to go to and that the hospital is included in your insurance coverage too. Insurance plans vary considerably, so if you change insurance, you may need to start your search for a healthcare provider all over.
Consider The Location Of The Office
While the doctor's reputation should be an important deciding factor in your choice, you also want to think about the location of the doctor's office. Ideally, you can find a doctor that's close to your home so keeping your appointments is easy. You might also want a doctor that is in a medical suite with a lab or next to a hospital so it will be convenient for you to have blood work and other testing done without having to drive to multiple locations. If you have a chronic illness and often feel unwell or if you don't drive, then the location of your doctor's office takes on even more importance.
Interview The Practice By Phone
Call the doctor's office for more information about the practice. Pay attention to how well you're treated on the phone as that could say a lot about the staff you would interact with on each visit. Ask if the doctor has experience in the type of care you need. While a primary care doctor can handle many types of medical problems, you still want to know if the doctor takes care of patients with your condition routinely when you have something like diabetes or lung disease.
Decide If You're Comfortable With Your Choice
The only way to know if you've made the right choice in a new healthcare provider is to schedule an appointment and see how you get along. Note if the doctor takes ample time and makes you feel comfortable. Also note how crowded the office is, how clean the building is kept, and how fast the wait moves. If you're not happy with your first choice, then keep looking because you want a doctor you feel comfortable talking to and who you can trust to give you good medical advice.