How to Choose a Primary Care Physician?

A primary physician is the most important individual when it comes to your healthcare. When choosing a PCP, it is crucial to do thorough research and coordinate your needs and wants before entrusting your health to a specific doctor. You should invest an adequate amount of time in finding someone you can trust. Your health and well-being should be one of your main priorities, and this is why special care needs to be taken when you form a relationship with your physician.

 Your primary physician addresses your regular medical needs like annual physicals, preventive screenings, non-emergency issues, and mental health issues. In addition to all this, the PCP can refer you to a specialist if he accesses your need to address specific health concerns. Certain research suggests that having the same doctor and consistent access to their healthcare services is linked to lower overall healthcare costs and mortality rates. 

If we consider the fact that the relationship between you and your doctor is likely to be long-term, it is advised that you choose someone in-network. Trust shouldn’t be an issue, and you should have comfortable conversations about any health concerns you may have. This article will guide you through five basic steps to help you pick the best doctor for your needs.

Determine your personal needs

It would help if you asked yourself specific questions; create a list of preferences such as gender, languages spoken, race, care setting, or office hours. It would be best if you consider several types of primary care physicians, and every member of your family can have a different physician. Different types include family or general practitioners, OB/GYN (obstetrics/gynecology), internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, and geriatricians. 

Go through your insurance 

We’ve already mentioned that you should look for a doctor that is in-network. Obtain a list of doctors and hospitals that your insurance plan covers. Health plans may include a discount rate with certain doctors, so staying in-network may reduce medical care costs. Be sure to speak with representatives regarding available physicians, call a number on the back of your ID card, or simply look for information on your insurance provider’s website. 

Look for recommendations

Asking for recommendations from friends and family can be helpful, given that their experience might give you a better perspective regarding your choices. Be sure to keep in mind that everyone is different, and just because a specific doctor worked for your neighbor doesn’t mean he will work for you personally. 

Do your research

Using credited resources can help you make your decision faster. Look for doctor’s education, performance history, and certification. Once you’ve found new candidates, call their staff and their office, ask as many questions as you want. Ask about the cancelation, after-hours visits, and don’t forget to look up the doctor covering for your chosen one while he’s unavailable. 

Visit potential choices

After narrowing down potential doctor choices, scheduling a meeting, or an online appointment with top candidates might be an intelligent thing to do. You should introduce yourself to the doctor and discuss your medical history and health concerns. The conversation you have might help you determine your comfort level with the candidate. The perfect fit should listen to you carefully, thoroughly answer all questions and make you feel comfortable. If all of this checks out, it seems that you’ve found your perfect physician.

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