Choosing a family physician that you feel comfortable with and trust is important but it can seem pretty daunting. If you’re new to an area or haven’t had a family doctor in years picking one from the many clinics in your area can be a lot of work. Here are 5 tips for finding a family doctor that may make your search easier.
Look at Your Network
If you have health insurance in place there may be a network of doctors and clinics that you can choose from that are covered by your provider. Seeing one of these doctors will cost you less and there are no surprise copays or fees. Check with your insurance policy before you start looking for a doctor, they may have a list of names. If there is no network you should check with any potential family doctors to make sure that they accept your insurance.
Do You Need a Specialist?
Do you or anyone one in your family need specialized care? If anyone in your family has an ongoing medical condition then make sure that the physician you choose can offer the level of care that you need. Often a family doctor will refer you to a specialist if you need one.
How Far Away is your Doctor?
Don’t overlook convenience when it comes to seeing your doctor. Will you skip an appointment because you don’t want to spend a half an hour in traffic. If you’re a busy person with little time to spare then look for a clinic that is really close to either home or the office.
Meet Your Doctor
You will want to schedule an initial appointment with the doctor to see if the two of you are a good fit. Do you feel comfortable enough with them to discuss very personal issues? Many healthcare providers will allow you an initial consultation for little or no charge, which will help you find out if they are the doctor for you.
There are dozens of sites on the internet that give you reviews of a potential doctor from actual patients. Check a few of them out to see if your doctor has a favorable rating. Bear in mind that these reviews are pretty subjective and that complains about out of date magazines doesn’t reflect the quality of care. Read them with a skeptical eye and make them a small part of your decision making.