How to Choose the Right Primary Care Doctor for Your Needs - An online health& Fitness Blog to know more about health, fitness & food.

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How to Choose the Right Primary Care Doctor for Your Needs

 


Did you know that Americans visit doctors 883 million times in total each year?

Finding a primary doctor can be an overwhelming task. It’s especially when you have lots of choices around. If you aren’t paying too much attention to the process, you’ll end up picking one that won’t work with your situation.

Don’t give up, our guide here will show you how to choose a primary care doctor. That way, you’ll know what things to do before you can find the right one for you. Read on and learn more:

1. Ask Around

This is one of the most basic tips you can do since it must be your first step. Ask your family and friends about whether they know some great doctors. If you get recommendations from someone you can trust, you’re likely to get a name of a highly-trained, helpful doctor.

Regardless, you must remember that each person has different needs. This means that the perfect doctor for your best friend or sibling won’t automatically mean they’re perfect for you.

2. Get the Nearest Doctors

Your primary care physician will handle your daily health needs. That’s why their location must be somewhere convenient. When you start feeling unwell, you don’t want to travel for an hour or more to get some treatment.

Also, with a more convenient location for your doctor, you feel more motivated to keep appointments. This includes physical examinations and other preventative care to keep you healthy. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, see whether it has transportation benefits since it’s useful for doctor appointments.

3. Ensure You Have Coverage

After identifying some candidates, see whether they can work with your current health plan. For example, you can call their office and ask whether they accept patients with traditional Medicare. Otherwise, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, ask your insurance provider whether your doctor is within the plan’s network.

Most plans tend to charge more if you work with a physician outside the network. The worst part is some won’t even cover these at all. That’s why you must do this before you make your first appointment.

4. Check their Quality

This tip is simpler if you a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s because you can contact your insurance company and ask whether they have information related to the quality ratings of some primary care physicians within the network. The Medicare website also has a Physician Compare tool that allows you to know whether your doctor joined activities that ascertain their high-quality care.

After that, you must ensure that your doctor has the right board certifications. Certified physicians passed the licensing requirements set by their states. The best part is they also succeeded in completing comprehensive exams related to internal medicine.

Doctors with these certifications must continue updating their knowledge to keep up with the latest developments in medicine. Otherwise, they risk losing their certification and work. With this, you can be certain that the information they’re giving is the latest.

5. Put a Cold Call

Call your desired doctor’s office and get an impression of the practice. In most cases, you’ll gain invaluable insight into their service by judging their phone etiquette. Ask whether they’re accepting new patients and see the manner of their answer.

For example, some might give a more definite response, like saying that the next available appointment is in 90 days. Others can be vaguer and say that it would take some time for them to take in new patients. Either way, this is a reflection of what you might expect when you work with them, so determine whether it’s good enough for you.

6. Consider Scheduling an In-person Meeting

During your first call, you must ask questions that give you a hint of the way the office runs. Ask about how they handle prescription refills or their way of letting you know about various test results. Let them educate you about their scheduling processes, whether they can schedule appointments using their website or if they will call you instead.

After this, ask for a short in-person conversation before you make an appointment. Take note. Some doctors might be too busy to accommodate your request. That’s okay, but it’s always better to ask.

7. Always Think About Your Needs

To find a primary care doctor, you must think about your unique health needs. Ask about their specialties and fields of interest. After all, your requirements will tend to change as you get older.

Some doctors are great when handling sports-related medicine while others are experts in family medicine. But if your situation doesn’t fit their expertise, they aren’t likely to help you. That’s why you must ask about these things when you call.

This is especially important if you’re in your senior years since you’ll often have various complicated medical problems. With that, you must find a doctor specializing in geriatrics. That way, you’ll have constant care as you age.

8. Go Beyond the Immediate Picture

If you visit your desired doctor, an important thing to ascertain is whether their care philosophy aligns with yours. Ask about their reason for taking primary care and their favorite part of being a doctor. You have other questions to ask, but these are the most important ones on the list.

If you share your doctor’s view on patient care, you’re more likely to follow their recommendations. With this, you’ll have a doctor you can stick with after your first appointment concludes. They might even become your lifelong physician if they mesh well with your beliefs.

Get a Primary Care Doctor Today!

These are some of the best tips to get a great primary doctor. Follow these to ensure that your physician is reputable, convenient, and perfect for your condition.

Did you find this guide helpful? If so, please consider reading our other posts and learn more invaluable tips and tricks related to health and medicine.

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