Are you on the lookout for a new doctor but aren’t sure how to choose? Click here to learn how to find a primary care physician you’ll love. The average American visits their primary doctor about 4 times every year. Some take trips to their doctors’ offices for annual physicals. Others do it to have their doctors check out injuries or diagnose illnesses.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important for you to have a primary doctor on your side you can trust. You need to feel 100 percent comfortable each and every time you visit their office. Primary doctors aren’t hard to find. There are more than 200,000 of them working all across the country at the moment.
But knowing how to find a primary care physician that you’ll love? That can be tricky.
Here are 5 tips for tracking down the right primary doctor in your area.
1. Ask Your Health Insurance Provider for Assistance
If you’re one of the roughly 295 million Americans with health insurance, use it to your advantage. Your health insurance provider should be able to give you some valuable insight into the different doctors operating in your area.
Most health insurance providers allow you to log in to a website that will show you the primary physicians covered by your specific health insurance plan. This will allow you to generate a list of doctors that might be right for you.
You should not simply choose whichever name appears on the top of your health insurance provider’s list. More often than not, providers list doctors based on how far they’re located from your home and not the level of care they’re known to provide.
But your health insurance provider’s list should serve as a good jumping off point for you. It’ll familiarize you with names of the doctors that are in your general vicinity.
2. Check With Friends and Family for Recommendations
In addition to checking in with your health insurance provider when trying to figure out how to find a primary care physician, you should also speak with your friends and family members about the doctors they use.
Ask your friends and family members which doctors they go to, and more importantly, find out what they think about them. Hit them up with questions like:
- “How long have you been using your doctor?”
- “What do you like about them?”
- “Are they always attentive to your needs?”
- “Do you ever have trouble making appointments with them?”
- “Have they helped make you healthier overall?”
In a perfect world, you’ll have three or four friends and family members that will tell you how much they love their doctors. This will provide you with a good pool of potential doctors to choose from.
3. Read Online Reviews for Different Doctors
If you speak with friends and family members and don’t get many good doctor recommendations from them, take your search for doctors online. In 2019, just about all primary care physicians have online reviews available.
Online reviews will give you a chance to see what others have had to say about different doctors in your area. Often times, these reviews will touch on everything from how long doctors make patients wait in their waiting rooms prior to seeing them to what kind of medical care they deliver.
You will need to be a little bit careful about relying too much on online reviews. There are some people who will leave negative reviews for doctors solely because they didn’t agree with a diagnosis or treatment plan that a doctor provided for them.
But generally speaking, online reviews can give you a great overview of what doctors are all about. By scanning through both positive and negative reviews, you can see patterns develop as far as what people think about doctors in your city.
4. Learn More About Each Doctor You’re Considering
At this point, you should have several doctors that you’re seriously considering when looking for a primary care physician. Take the time to learn as much as you can about each one remaining on your list.
Most doctors have bios online that will tell you all about them. These bios will include some history on where the doctors went to school, information about the hospitals and medical facilities they’ve worked at, and so much more.
You may also be able to find out about the other medical professionals who work in a primary care physician’s office.
Read more here about some of the other positions in a typical doctor’s office. It’s important that you love those who work with a doctor as much as you love the doctor.
5. Schedule Meetings With Your Favorite Doctors
At the end of the day, a doctor can have tons of positive online reviews and an amazing backstory. But if you don’t feel comfortable talking to them about your health, they’re not going to be the right doctor for you.
This is why it’s essential for you to meet with several primary care physicians before picking the one you like best. Arrange meetings with the doctors you think might be a good fit and see how you feel when you sit down with them.
A great primary care physician should be:
- A good listener
- Easy to talk to
Most primary care physicians think they check all these boxes. But there are some doctors that are better than others when it comes to exhibiting these qualities.
Search for one that makes you feel like you matter while providing top-notch medical care.
Knowing How to Find a Primary Care Physician Is Important
Far too many Americans aren’t scheduling visits with their doctors on a regular basis.
Certain people don’t go to the doctor routinely due to cost concerns. But others don’t do it simply because they aren’t sure how to find a primary care physician.
Do you fall into the second category?
If so, it’s not as difficult as you might think to find a great doctor near your home. By utilizing the tips listed here, you can locate a primary care physician that will be perfect for both you and your family.
You can track down a great dentist, too. Read our blog to see how to do it.