Choosing your primary physician should be a top priority. Your primary care doctor is your first line of defense against chronic disease and other health ailments. While specialists may be needed from time to time, visits to your local doctor office are how most of your medical needs are met.
Whether you recently moved to a new city or are seeking a primary physician for the first time in many years, the tips in this online article will help you find the best primary doctor.
1. Ask Trusted Friend and Family for Referrals
Personal recommendations from trusted sources will beat any online review. Start with friends and family members who are close in age to you and have similar life situations (such as having children).
See who those people do or do not recommend. Working from that shortlist, you can whittle your options down to one or two great options in no time.
2. Consider Location
Even if you have no significant health problems, you’ll need to visit your best family doctor at least once a year. If you have children, you may need several visits a year.
Every smart parent considers proximity when choosing a primary care physician. A 10 or 15-minute commute won’t waste much time. If your doctor is 45 minutes away or farther, you may want to factor in driving time when deciding which doctor to work with long-term.
3. Make Sure Your Insurance Is Accepted by the Doctor
It would be a waste of time to find a great doctor and then realize he or she does not accept your health insurance. Finding out if you have a compatible form of insurance is easy. Simply call the office and ask if your health insurance is “in-network” with their medical office.
4. Check the Doctor’s Ratings
Like other businesses, medical practices are frequently rated by past customers. You can visit the doctor’s website and Facebook page for reviews. Popular websites for doctor reviews include Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com, and DoctorReviews.com.
5. Keep Your Personal Needs in Mind
Primary care physicians are trained to diagnose a wide range of ailments. That doesn’t mean that every physician in the medical industry is an ideal match for your needs, though.
Some practices focus on families, geriatric patients, or sports-related injuries. If you are looking for a doctor who prioritizes treating the root cause of an ailment (rather than simply its symptoms), then you would benefit from finding a functional medicine doctor.
If you have specialized needs, be sure to ask any offices you call or visit if the primary care doctor can meet those medical needs.
Find the Right Doctor For You
Finding the right primary care doctor can provide you with peace of mind. Your primary physician should understand your medical history, current lifestyle habits, and your personal goals for well-being.
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