When you’re looking for a primary care doctor for yourself and your family, it’s important to choose someone that you can trust. Your primary care doctor can help you to stay healthy, treat many health problems, manage any existing conditions, and refer you to a specialist when needed. Here’s how to find the right one for you.
When you and your doctor can work together as a team, you will be able to get better care, so it’s important to choose the right one. You should look for a doctor who:
- Treats you with respect
- Listens to your opinions and concerns
- Encourages you to ask questions
- Explains things in ways that can easily you understand
Try these tips to find the best doctor for you.
Ask For Recommendations From People You Know
Getting a reference from someone that you trust is a great way to find a doctor. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers if they like their doctor. If you need a new doctor because your current doctor is moving or retiring, ask them for a recommendation.
Check With Your Insurance Company
If you have health insurance, you might need to choose from a list of doctors that ar ein your plan’s network and that accept your insurance plan. Some insurances might let you choose a doctor from outside your network if you will pay more of the cost.
To find a doctor who takes your insurance:
- Call your insurance company and ask for a list of doctors near you who accept your insurance, or use the company website.
- Call the doctor’s office and double-check they accept your plan. Have your insurance card handy just in case they need your details;
If you don’t have health insurance, you will need to pay for your health care on your own.
Learn More About Your Top Choices
Make a list of the doctors that you think you might like. Take into account how difficult or easy it is to travel to an appointment. Call the doctor’s office with some questions ready to ask so you can learn more about them. Knowing the answers to a few important questions can help you make the right decision.
Ask things like:
- Is the doctor taking new patients?
- Is the doctor part of a group practice? If so, who are the other doctors who might handle your care?
- Who will see me if my doctor isn’t available?
- Which hospital does the doctor use?
- Does the doctor have experience with your medical conditions?
- Does the doctor have any special training or qualifications?
Ask some questions about the office too, such as:
- Do they use ADA compliant medical equipment?
- Are evening, weekend, or virtual appointments available?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- How long does it usually take to get an appointment?
- How do does the average appointment last?
- Can you get lab work or X-rays done at the office?
- Is there a doctor or nurse at the practice who speaks my preferred language?