Choosing a Primary Care Doctor: What You Need to Know
Selecting a primary care physician is undoubtedly important; after all, this is the doctor who will see you for your routine check-ups and make referrals to specialists if the need arises. Not sure where to begin when it comes to choosing a primary care doctor? There are a few things to keep in mind as you get started.
Make Sure They Accept Your Insurance
If you have health insurance coverage — whether it be through your employer, through a state/federal program, or through the marketplace, then you'll want to begin by finding doctors that are within your network. You can typically do this online through your insurance carrier's website. Once you have a list of providers, you may want to select a few that you are interested in and give their office a call to make sure they are currently accepting new patients.
Think About the Type of Care You Need
As you explore options for in-network providers, you may also want to consider the precise level of care that you're looking for from a primary care doctor. After all, there are a few different types of primary care physicians.
There are family doctors, who work with patients of all ages. These can be a good choice if you're looking for a doctor's office that your entire family can go to for their wellness checks. General practice doctors are similar in this regard, whereas internal medicine physicians typically work with adults who have existing conditions. By considering your medical history and age, you can better determine the type of primary care doctor that best suits your needs.
Consider Scheduling a Call or Visit
Before you choose a primary care doctor, you may also want to visit their office in-person to get a better feel for the overall environment at the office. You may even be able to schedule a visit with the doctor that allows you to sit down with them and ask some basic questions about their care philosophy and how the office operates. Even if you aren't able to schedule an in-person visit, you can likely set up a phone call with a doctor or nurse to get answers to your questions.
Choosing the right primary care doctor can give you a lot of peace of mind when it comes to your health and wellness, so be sure to follow these practical tips as you explore your options. To learn more, contact a doctor's office near you.