Family Health

What to Consider When Choosing a Primary Care Physician

Oct 5 • 2015

The relationship you have with your primary care physician is important. Not only will you visit this doctor more often throughout your lifetime than likely any other specialist, but you’ll also trust him to make the best recommendations for you based on his knowledge of your medical history. With so many primary care doctors to choose from, finding the right one for you can seem impossible. We’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind when making your decision.

Consider Your Insurance
First you’ll want to be sure you’re choosing from primary care physicians within your network. Health insurance plans have discounted rates with specific doctors located in your area. This list of doctors is likely who you will want to choose from as you will end up paying less out of pocket for their services. You should be able to see which physicians are in your network through your health insurance provider’s website.

Narrow Your List
When you begin browsing the doctors available in your network, you’ll likely find that there are a wide range of options. You can narrow down the list by deciding what kind of primary care doctor you’re looking for. If you want him to be able to treat patients of all ages, look for a family doctor. An internal medicine physician typically treats adults only and helps with disease management and prevention. Make a list of what you want your primary care physician to be able to provide for you and this can help you choose what type you need.

Think About Specific Preferences
If you have a tight work schedule that makes it difficult to take days off, you might want a primary care physician with extended hours. For some people, having a doctor located close to their home is extremely important. Your personal preferences can include everything from age, gender, what hospital they are associated with, and how the doctor communicates with his patients. Have a clear vision of any specific requirements you may have.

Check Out the Office
Before you select the doctor, you may want to visit the office and meet with him personally. This allows you to get a feel for his personality, the vibe of the office itself, and the attitude of the nurses and staff who work with him. Don’t be afraid to speak with him about your medical history, questions about how he would handle chronic conditions you deal with, and how well your personalities click. The important thing is feeling comfortable with him so that there is never any hesitation when it comes to discussing health-related topics.

Remember that you can change your primary care physician at any time if you find that you’re not happy with the one you chose. Don’t hesitate to ask family, friends, or coworkers for recommendations of doctors they visit. You can easily find a Baptist doctor near you here.