If you are serious about your health, you should find a primary care physician who you can trust completely. In this article you will find valuable recommendations on how to spot such a professional.
The better you establish a good relationship with your primary care physician, the more effectively you will be able to prevent and cure health problems. An ideal healthcare professional should have extensive experience, be empathetic, and willing to work with patients whose needs are similar to yours. They should remember your health goals, lifestyle, treatment preferences, and nuances of your medical history. From this article, you will learn how to find the perfect primary care physician in your area and select the best specialist from among several applicants.
Ask for advice
Most likely, your friends and family members can recommend an empathetic and experienced healthcare professional. This does not mean, however, that this doctor will be suitable for you as well, as all patients are different. You may want to shortlist the best candidates and visit them one by one to spot the doctor of your dreams.
Make sure you have coverage
Check to see if the candidates on your shortlist are ready to work with your health plan. If you see a doctor outside of your plan network, you may have to pay more.
You should look for a primary care physician in your area. No one knows when and how often you might need to see them – and you won’t want to travel very far when you’re feeling down. Feel free to use the apps and online services to find a doctor near me to compare the best professionals in your neighborhood.
Perform a quality control
On dedicated apps and sites, you can also find reviews from healthcare professionals and unbiased reviews from people about them. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can also check with your insurance company to see if they provide information on quality assessments from certain primary care physicians in your network.
You may want to assess the following parameters for each candidate:
- Additional training
- Board of Directors certifications
- To live
- Medical degree
Board-certified primary care physicians have met their state licensing requirements and passed comprehensive examinations in internal medicine. The certificates confirm that the healthcare professional keeps abreast of the latest developments in his field and will be able to give you up-to-date advice.
Make a cold call
It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. Sometimes it can take just a minute to assess the professionalism of the medical staff. What will the assistant tell you if the doctor is very busy? Will they apologize for not being able to offer you a date in the next few days? Or will they promise to do their best to fit you in, even though it might not happen until next month? The label of office staff is a telltale sign of the quality of medical services.
Learn about logistics
The perfect primary care physician will not require you to come to their office too often, unless it is absolutely necessary. On the initial call, you might want to ask them the following questions:
- Do they offer same day appointments?
- How long do patients usually sit in the waiting room?
- How will they inform you of the test results?
- Will you be able to email your doctor or schedule appointments online?
- Will the office call to remind you if you’re late for an annual screening or flu shot?
More and more doctors are now taking charge of virtual appointments. Even if you have never tried this type of service before, you may want to find a healthcare professional who offers it. Ask them in advance how easy it is to schedule a virtual date. While talking to you remotely, the doctor will be able to analyze your symptoms, share pain relief recommendations, and tell you what medical tests you should undergo and to what extent.
Keep your needs in mind
Find a doctor who specializes in patients of your type. For example, if you have diabetes or another chronic condition, you should seek out a professional with extensive expertise in this area. The older the patient, the more likely they are to have chronic health problems. If you have several complex medical conditions, you may want to consider seeing a geriatrician – this is a doctor who specializes in caring for older patients.
Get to know your doctor’s philosophy
You may want to ask the following questions:
- Why did this person choose this profession?
- What do they value most about being a primary care physician?
- What do they want more patients to do after leaving their desks?
If you and your doctor share an identical set of values, you should be more willing to take their advice.
Avoid culture shock
An ideal healthcare professional should be culturally aware and respectful of your ideas and traditions. For example, if your religious beliefs conflict with certain types of treatment, the doctor should discuss any potential alternatives with you. They must be tolerant of the customs, preferences and taboos of their patients.
Trust your instincts
After seeing a new doctor for the first time, you should thoroughly analyze your feelings and impressions immediately after leaving their office. On the way back, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Did you feel comfortable with this person?
- Did they show any interest in getting to know you?
- Did you get exhaustive and complete answers to all your questions?
If you are not 100% sure if this professional is a perfect fit for you, you might want to try a different one.
Hope this article has been helpful to you and now it will be easier for you to find a great primary care doctor. Seek advice from friends and family, plan it out, and make sure you have coverage. Do a quality check, make a cold call to the doctor’s office, and ask if it’s set up for virtual appointments. Keep your needs in mind, avoid culture shock, and trust your instincts. When you find a doctor who you feel comfortable with, it should maximize your chances of getting a positive result regardless of your medical condition.