Table of Contents Hide
- Let’s take a closer look at how to choose a primary care doctor from start to finish below
- Begin by Seeing How Many Options You Have in Your General Area
- Do Your Homework on Each of Your Primary Care Physician Options
- See What Former and Current Patients of Primary Care Physicians Have to Say About Them
- Find Out Which Primary Care Physicians Accept Your Health Insurance
- Look at the Locations of Various Primary Care Physicians’ Offices
- Consider the Hours Offered by Different Primary Care Physicians
- Schedule In-Person Interviews With the Primary Care Physicians You Like Best
- Check Out Which Specialists Your Preferred Primary Care Physicians Work With
- Take Your Time When Choosing a Primary Care Physician
Looking for a primary care physician in your area? You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding some great options.
At this time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that there are well over 200,000 primary care physicians operating throughout the country. There should be at least a few that would work well for you in your city or town.
You shouldn’t just pick out the first primary care physician you can find, though. Prior to choosing a primary care physician, you should learn the best ways to go about doing it so that you end up with the best doctor in the end.
Knowing how to choose a doctor will help you sift through the available options and select the right choice.
Let’s take a closer look at how to choose a primary care doctor from start to finish below
Begin by Seeing How Many Options You Have in Your General Area
Before you start trying to work your way through the process of choosing a primary care physician, you’re going to need to sit and create a master list of options in your general area. It shouldn’t take you too much time at all to do this.
Google the words “primary care physicians near me” and glance through all the different doctors’ names that pop up. Finding a primary care doctor will be so much easier than it would be otherwise when you take this approach.
Within a matter of a few minutes, you should be able to gather a list of a dozen or so primary care doctors who operate within driving distance of your home. It’ll put you in a position to start digging a little deeper into each doctor to see which one you like the most.
Do Your Homework on Each of Your Primary Care Physician Options
Once you’ve compiled a long list of primary care physicians in your area, the next order of business will be to perform a background check on each of them on your own. This might sound like a lot of work, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to get it done.
These days, most primary care physicians have their own websites set up. Or at the very least, they have their own pages on websites for the practices that they work for.
Either way, you can learn so much about a primary care doctor by poking around online. You can learn things like:
- Which medical school a primary care physician attended
- How long a primary care physician has been seeing patients
- What sets a primary care physician apart from other doctors that are out there
Finding a new doctor will be simple to do when you’ve done your homework on all the options you’re considering in your area.
See What Former and Current Patients of Primary Care Physicians Have to Say About Them
Nowadays, most people won’t order a takeout meal from a local restaurant in their city or town without reading a bunch of reviews for it first. They want to see what other people in their community have to say about it before placing an order.
Why not do the same thing when trying to figure out how to pick a doctor? You should be able to browse through a bunch of reviews for each of the primary care physicians in your area.
You can find reviews for doctors left by both former and current patients of primary care physicians. These reviews will shed a lot of light on what different doctors are all about.
Find Out Which Primary Care Physicians Accept Your Health Insurance
You might have a health insurance plan that covers a lot of the costs associated with seeing a primary care physician. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to use whichever primary care physician you want.
There are some primary care physicians that will only accept certain types of health insurance from patients. You should find out which doctors in your area accept your specific type of health insurance prior to picking one out.
You don’t want to go through the trouble of choosing a primary care physician only to later discover that they don’t accept your insurance. Your insurance company might be able to let you know which doctors in your city or town currently accept your insurance.
Look at the Locations of Various Primary Care Physicians’ Offices
The average American visits their primary care physician about four times each year. In some cases, they do it to have physicals done. But in others, they do it to have their doctor address pressing issues with their health.
If you’re not feeling well and want to see your primary care physician right away, the last thing you want to have to do is drive all the way across town to visit them. It’s much better to have a doctor who is located somewhere close to your home.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to check out the locations of different primary care physicians’ offices to make sure they’re not too far from your home. You can narrow down your list by crossing off the names of any doctors who aren’t conveniently located.
Consider the Hours Offered by Different Primary Care Physicians
Most primary care physicians keep normal business hours. You can make an appointment with them anytime between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. without a problem.
But this isn’t always the case. In some instances, a primary care doctor might only see patients on certain days of the week. In others, a primary care doctor might see patients at night or on weekends as necessary.
You should call the offices of the primary care physicians at the top of your list and see what kinds of hours they have to offer. You might be able to whittle away at your list by eliminating any doctors that don’t extend hours that are convenient for you.
Schedule In-Person Interviews With the Primary Care Physicians You Like Best
After you learn how to choose a doctor and reach this point, you should have some idea of which local primary care physicians look the best to you. There should be at least a few names that look like terrific options.
You’ll almost be ready to make a final decision as far as which primary care doctor you want to work with. But before you do, it’s important for you to set up in-person interviews with a few of your favorite physicians.
During these interviews, you should ask doctors a series of questions. Some of these questions should be:
- “How much experience do you have serving as a primary care physician?”
- “What steps do you take to make your patients feel comfortable when they come to visit you?”
- “Is there anything that makes you different from other primary care physicians in the area?”
In addition to asking doctors these types of questions, you should also see if you can score a tour of a doctor’s office. You want to make sure you’re comfortable with the way that an office is set up.
As we alluded to earlier, you’re going to be spending a decent amount of time in your doctor’s office with your doctor in the months and years to come. As a result, you should have a great rapport with your doctor and love the layout of their office space.
Check Out Which Specialists Your Preferred Primary Care Physicians Work With
When you agree to start seeing a primary care physician, they’ll provide you with most of the basic medical care you need. From performing physicals for you each year to helping you get over certain illnesses and injuries, they’ll be the first line of defense when it comes to helping you take care of your health.
But there will be times when you’ll need more advanced care that they can’t provide for you. During these times, they’ll often suggest that you go and see a specialist. It’s why it’s essential for you to check out which specialists your preferred primary care physicians work with on a regular basis.
If you ever have an issue with your eyes, for example, you want your primary care physician to recommend a doctor like Dr. Evan Loft, MD to you. It’ll ensure you get the best possible care for your eyes from a board-certified ophthalmologist.
Take Your Time When Choosing a Primary Care Physician
When you’re trying to go about choosing a primary care physician, you shouldn’t be in any rush. You should slowly make your way through the steps we just mentioned so that you’re able to track down the best primary care doctor in your area.
Finding a primary care doctor might take you a few weeks or even a few months to do. But it’ll be well worth all the time you put into it once you see the services your primary care physician can provide.
Browse through the informative articles on our blog for additional tips on finding a new doctor.