Whether you’re as healthy as a horse or have had lifelong issues, everyone needs a primary care physician. This doctor will take care of your typical ailments as well as referring you to specialists when you’re dealing with someone outside of their scope. Deciding who to trust with your healthcare needs is an important decision and requires some research. Follow these tips to begin shopping for your physician.
Your insurance plan may restrict which medical groups and physicians are covered. Always check the terms of your insurance before making an appointment with a new doctor. This also includes the hospitals and lab studies they are affiliated with. If your preferred doctor isn’t covered by your policy, are you prepared to pay out of pocket?
Check websites like HealthGrades or Vitals. While these sites only include reviews based on patient’s opinions they can be very helpful in determining how quickly you can typically get an appointment and the level of their bedside manner. Along with reading reviews you should ask your friends and family for their opinions and recommendations on local physicians.
Considering the location and accessibility of the doctor’s location is also a deciding factor. Issues such as proximity to public transportation, wheelchair accessibility, and parking should be considering when deciding on a new doctor.
Call the office
You may be able to tell a few very important things from a simple phone call. Pay attention to wait time, the staff’s attitude and their scheduling policies. While these things may not be as important as the quality of your doctor, they can greatly affect your experience.
After you have weighed all of your options, the next step is to visit your prospective new doctor. If your visit goes well, you may have found your new go-to physician but don’t feel obligated to continue the relationship if it didn’t go well. You owe it to yourself to find the best care available to you.