7 Effective Tips to Choose a Primary Care Physician
A primary care physician is the core of your well-being. They are the ones who know your smallest weaknesses and health conditions. They might even know you better than your spouse, brother or sister. They know not just about your health, but about some of your deepest secrets considering their unbiased and professional interaction with you. This calls for the utmost care when selecting a primary care physician. Do not just pick one randomly from a physician email list. Make sure you take time to analyze, research and asking questions before settling on one. Here are seven tips to help you choose a good one.
Look for References
This should be your first step towards getting a good doctor. You probably have relatives and friends who have had experiences with personal doctors. Considering their personal interactions with these doctors, they probably know them way better. You can get these recommendations then do your own research after shortlisting a few to get the most appropriate for your needs. Avoid the temptation of just settling for any of those recommended just because they were great to your friend or your relative. Everyone has different needs and requirements.
Proximity to Your Doctor
While you can afford to travel a long distance to a hospital for minor check-ups, it can be inconveniencing to travel the same distance to see your personal doctor. You will have frequent visits to your doctor than you will have to the general practitioners. There also those times when you may get ill and weak and really need urgent medical attention. It is really important that your personal doctor is near where you live.
Carry Out a Quality Check
Before hiring your primary care physician, take time to do some research checking quality ratings of various doctors and going through reviews about these doctors. There are medical journals and websites that have information about these doctors. They can be a good guide to see whether your doctor is certified and if they meet current medical requirements. You want to choose a physician that is not only a professional, but one who keeps abreast with the latest developments in the medical field.
Consider the Doctor’s Specialty
Doctors have different qualifications. It is important that you understand these qualifications and specialties before settling for one. For instance, there is a difference between a family caregiver and an internal medicine physician. While family caregivers focus on the entire family including children and the elderly, internal medicine doctors focus on a specific area and give care to patients above the age of 18, typically adults only. It is important, therefore, that you know what you really want.
Making Cold Calls
In addition to taking references, make cold calls to various physicians to gauge how they respond. It is easy to tell a professional from a quirk by a simple phone call. Phone etiquette shows if someone is disciplined and if they are also respectful. The manner in which they respond will help you cut down the list of your shortlisted physicians.
Consider Physician Availability
Primary care doctors have a great impact on your well-being as they know more about your health and personal history than any other doctor. It follows then that you should have a doctor whom you do not have to wait for a very long time to get an appointment. Ensure that you check physician availability before settling on one. Most people opt for doctors who they can see on short notice, maybe in a day or two, and not one that you have to stay for weeks.
If you want to get the best care, then you should be comfortable opening up to your doctor. You need then to find one you will be comfortable opening up to. Communication is always key in matters to do with health. If you are not comfortable divulging private information to your primary care physician, they might not be unable to provide you with the best care due to lack of some vital information. This is why you need a doctor who you can trust with very sensitive information about yourself and your family. So, be ready to divulge personal information to your physician of choice and make sure they can keep it between the two of you.