A primary care physician plays a vital role in the modern health care system. Their main roles include diagnosing health problems, answering patients’ questions, and providing long-term care to patients. They also teach you how to stay healthier and recommend you to specialists for more advanced care when needed. Consider the following tips to select the best primary care doctor.
Determine Your Health Needs
There are different categories of primary care doctors based on the type of patients they attend to, so choose one that best suits your case. Family practice physicians and general practice doctors treat various conditions in patients of all ages. A pediatrician focuses on children while internists treat adults with conditions affecting their internal organs.
Compile a Shortlist of Doctors Based on Logistics
Once you determine the type of primary care physician you want to see, make a list of all doctors near you who treat your specific condition. Consider their opening and closing times and pick the most convenient option based on whether you want weekends or evening appointments. Choose a physician whose office is closer to your workplace or home.
Ask for Recommendations
The easiest way to pick the best primary care physicians is by getting recommendations from family members, friends, and colleagues. Ask your loved ones if they know any doctors on your list and their experiences with the services. If you have a doctor you see for special treatment, ask them for a referral. When moving to a new place, ask your current primary care doctor for recommendations.
Do a Background Check on the Doctor
After narrowing down to about two or three doctors, turn to online reviews to get an overview of the primary care physicians’ quality of service. You can access a doctor’s disciplinary records through the Federal of States Medical Board website. Avoid doctors with prior suspensions and complaints like negligence.
Confirm the doctor’s qualifications and experience in treating your preexisting condition. Check their years of experience, and it’s good that you work with a physician who has been in practice for a significant period. Confirm whether your insurance company covers admission to the hospital where your preferred physician works.
Make an Appointment
Book an appointment with a physician to evaluate whether you can work with them in the long term. During this visit, ask the doctor how many patients with a case similar to yours they have handled before. Tell them your symptoms, and if they suggest a specific treatment plan, ask them for more information like the risk and side effects to expect. Access how the doctor communicates, if you feel at ease in the office, and how you relate with other staff. Take into consideration how far in advance you need to book an appointment and how long you take to see the doctor.
Maintaining a long-term relationship with a primary care doctor will help you lead a healthier life, which translates to lower medical costs in the long run. Are you looking for a doctor you can trust? Contact Lawler & Lawler Medical.