Your primary care doctor is your go-to person whenever you have any health issue. They are there to advise you, examine you, educate you, and to treat you. This is why you need to find a doctor you can trust.
But how can you find the right doctor when there are long lists of names in directories and on websites? Well, don’t worry because we are here to help you. This article gives you an ultimate guide to help you choose the right primary care doctor for you.
Here is how to choose a private care doctor
- Find out which doctors are in your network
If you have health insurance, the first thing you should do is to determine which doctors are covered by your plan in your area. Doing this can help you avoid having to pay in full out of pocket because the doctor you have selected does not accept your insurance plan. Additionally, your insurance coverage may allow you to work with an “out-of-network” doctor but at an extra cost.
If you don’t have an insurance plan and will be paying out of your pocket, you need to talk to the private doctor about the cost of visits. Knowing about the costs before seeking healthcare can help you plan your future visits.
- Ask for referrals
You can ask for recommendations from your family and friends. Your colleagues may also be an excellent source of information regarding the doctors they like. You can also ask for referrals from health professionals, such as pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, physical therapists, etc. They will give you adequate information about the doctors you are considering.
- Check the location of the doctor
Where is the doctor’s office located? Is the location quite far from your home or office? How will you reach the doctor? Is there safe and inexpensive parking at the doctor’s office? How long will it take you to reach the doctor if you are using public transportation? These are some of the top questions you need to ask yourself before you choose a primary care doctor. It is advisable to choose a primary care doctor who is located near your home or office because when you are really sick, a 45-minutes distance can feel overwhelming. In addition to that, location is critical because of convenience.
- Find out how available the doctor is
What are the hours that the doctor’s practice is open? Is the doctor available in the evening, weekend, or on-call services? And how long does it take to see the doctor?
It can be quite frustrating to wait for months just to see the doctor. This is why it is important that you choose a primary care doctor who is readily available and can see you in two to three days or even the same day for serious concerns.
- Check if the office staff are friendly and professional
You will be engaging with the office staff regularly. Most of your interactions with your doctor will be handled by the staff. So you need to ensure that they are kind, patient, and courteous.