A primary care physician is more important than any random doctor we visit. They are the professionals who help us journey through the continuum of life. The process of finding a new physician isn’t an easy one. The task becomes more daunting whenever we change states or relocate to new places.
Unfortunately, most of us cannot move to new places with our healthcare givers. We have to search for new physicians. The ideal person is one we feel comfortable talking to and can address our health needs. Here are things I consider when hunting for a new primary practitioner.
Insurance companies have a big say in the practitioners we hire. Before enlisting a doctor, I always chat with a representative of the insurance that covers me. At the top of our discussions is the issue of doctors covered under their policy.
Insurance companies are armed with a list of health practices they cover under certain policies. I use their recommendation to filter the doctors I intend to hire. I avoid working with healthcare experts who are outside this coverage due to the costs involved.
A crucial step in finding the ideal caregiver is getting recommendations from friends, family, and close people. By asking around, we tend to get a list of helpful, highly-skilled physicians. We are comfortable we’re going to work with someone with a good reputation.
However, we should be cautious when getting counsel from others. Just because a doctor had a fruitful relationship with a friend doesn’t mean they will work fluidly with us.
Squeezing in an appointment with a doctor isn’t that straightforward. On the one hand, physicians have multiple clients to serve, while on the other, we have demanding work schedules that are rigid. For parents with kids, their lives become even busier.
I always go for physicians who have schedules that can accommodate my availability. I am always free on weekends and require practices that are open on those days.
Although general practitioners can handle most of our health problems, they fall short when dealing with specific conditions. For those of us with pre-existing conditions, it’s better to narrow searches to specialists.
Specialists can focus on our underlying problem and advise us accordingly. For children, the perfect caregiver has to be a pediatrician. The best start when getting a specialist is to seek referrals from general doctors.
It’s always a terrible idea to select a new physician based on impulse. I cannot comprehend the thought of entrusting my health to any physician on the street. I spend entire weeks doing comprehensive research on a narrowed-down list. Luckily, the internet provides a great way of gauging a physician’s reputation.
Review sites like Yelp, RateMDs, Healthgrades, Facebook, Zocdoc, and Vitals are populated with patient feedback. I always search for a doctor’s profile and then analyze the accompanying feedback: the more positive feedback, the more reputable the doctor.
The decision to hire a practitioner is also influenced by face to face meetings. It’s a good practice to visit their offices and gauge their personalities. I use such visits to ask questions and engage them in medical issues. From these interactions, I quickly assess whether they’re reliable and trustable.
Apart from the interactions, I also evaluate the surrounding. I check on whether cleanliness is adhered to, the frequency in which they answer calls, receptionists’ demeanor, the waiting times, the queues present, and overall friendliness. I finally ask about the doctor’s qualification and his practicing license.