3 Tips for Choosing a Primary Care Physician

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If you have recently moved or gotten new health insurance, it may be necessary to choose a new primary care physician. However, choosing a new PCP is not always easy, and, while you may be tempted to simply make an appointment with the doctor your best friend sees or to get the name of a nearby doctor from your insurance company, there are other variables that can be much more important that you should consider. For example, you might benefit from a doctor who provides evening or Saturday appointments. It will also be helpful to determine if the doctor you are considering has privileges at a hospital in your area and, if so, which one. Lastly, interviewing more than one primary care physician prior to committing to one to make sure that you are comfortable with your new doctor is important. The following advice will help you to make sure that you have ultimately chosen the most appropriate primary care physician.

#1-Choose a Doctor Who Can See You at a Convenient Time

While you should not expect to find a primary care physician who can see you in the middle of the night and you should never delay going to the emergency room in the event of a real emergency, finding a doctor who occasionally has late office hours or can see patients on Saturday is likely to be useful. In addition, you may want to see whether the doctor has an in-house laboratory or x-rays, as both of those can add to the convenience you can expect when seeking medical treatment during non-traditional hours.

#2-Determine If the Doctor Has Privileges at a Local Hospital 

Although few people want to think about it, there is the chance that eventually you will have an injury or illness that is severe enough to require hospitalization. If that happens, the process can be a lot easier if you see a doctor who also works or has admitting privileges at a hospital. If you live in an area with more than one hospital and you have a preference as to which facility you would prefer, it only makes sense that you should choose a primary care physician who can facilitate your admission to that facility.

#3-Make Sure You Are Comfortable with the Primary Care Physician and the Staff

When you consider the conversations you may need to have with the new doctor and his or staff, it is crucial to remember that there is more to your overall satisfaction with your experience in the office than the clinical information you can obtain. Specifically, you need to be comfortable sharing intimate details of your life with the doctor and you should always feel sure that you are valued and respected as a patient. If you feel unnecessarily rushed or if medical jargon is used without explanation of what it means, you should plan to interview other physicians who are more likely to meet your needs.

In conclusion, choosing a new primary care physician is a big decision that could impact you and your health for many years. Therefore, it will be helpful to consider the tips provided above when making that important choice