Having a family doctor can be extremely beneficial. For one, statistics show that people with a regular doctor are more likely to receive preventive care and screenings, which can catch problems early on and improve overall health. In addition, people with a family doctor are less likely to visit the emergency room for non-urgent issues, saving both time and money.
And if a health problem does arise, having a trusting relationship with a primary care physician can make all the difference in getting prompt effective treatment. In short, there are many good reasons to have a family doctor—so if you don’t already have one, it’s worth considering finding one that you can stick with for the long term.
But how do you find the right doctor for your family? Here are a few tips:
Do your research.
When it comes to finding a good doctor, it pays to do your homework. You want to make sure you find a doctor that is a good fit for you and your family. Check with your insurance company to see which doctors are in your network and read online reviews of doctors in your area.
If you’re new to an area or looking for a change, ask people you trust—friends, family, co-workers, etc.—for recommendations. Chances are good that someone you know has already been through the process of finding a great family doctor and can point you in the right direction.
You can also reach out to your current health care providers—like your child’s pediatrician or your OB/GYN—for recommendations. They may be able to refer you to a colleague with a similar style or bedside manner.
Schedule a consultation.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to start scheduling consultations. This allows you to meet the doctor in person, ask questions, and get a feel for their bedside manner. In addition, it’s a good time to bring up any concerns you might have about your family’s health.
A consultation is also a chance to make sure that the office is clean, organized, and run efficiently. When you visit the doctor’s office for your consultation, take a few minutes to walk around and get a feel for the place. Is it clean and well-organized? Are the staff members friendly and helpful? Do you feel comfortable there?
This is also a good time to ask about their policies. If you have young children, you’ll want to ensure that the office can accommodate them and that they won’t be at risk of exposure to other sick patients. One thing to consider is their sick child visitation policies. If you have young children, you’ll want to make sure that the clinic can accommodate them anytime they’re sick and that a specialist can attend to their needs, especially in emergencies.
Another thing to keep in mind is after-hours care. Does the doctor offer extended hours or weekend appointments? What about telemedicine visits? If you have a busy schedule, it’s important to find a doctor who can work around your availability.
Check out the doctor’s qualifications.
When you’re meeting with a potential doctor, be sure to ask about their qualifications. Where did they go to medical school? Are they board certified? What kind of continuing education do they receive?
It’s also worth checking out the doctor’s hospital affiliation. If they’re affiliated with a teaching hospital, that’s usually a good sign. It means they’re up-to-date on the latest medical advancements and procedures.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the doctor and staff.
One of the most important factors in choosing a family doctor is making sure that you’re comfortable with them. Do you feel like they’re really listening to you? Do they answer your questions in a way that you can understand? Do they make you feel at ease?
It’s also important to make sure that you’re comfortable with the doctor’s staff. Are they friendly and helpful? Do they seem to know what they’re doing? When you call the office, can you get through to someone quickly?
Once you’ve found a doctor you’re comfortable with, it’s time to start scheduling regular appointments. Be sure to keep up with your vaccinations and screenings, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns about your family’s health.
Finding the right family doctor is crucial. You want someone qualified, professional, and you feel comfortable with. Do your research online, ask around for recommendations from friends and family members, and schedule a consultation with potential candidates. Tour the office and meet the staff to ensure everyone seems friendly and helpful. Also, check out the doctor’s qualifications and find out how long they’ve been practicing medicine. By following these tips, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your needs and be on your way to better health for years to come.