Guest Post: 5 Tips To Finding The Right Family Physician For You

April 22, 2014

When it comes to the health and safety of your family, finding a comprehensive primary care practioner is a top priority. But with the ever changing healthcare laws, it can be difficult to find a new family physician that fits your family’s needs.

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Here are five tips to ensuring your family will be well taken care of next time you visit the doctor.

1. Find Recommendations

Most people can rely on trusted friends and family members to recommend a good doctor. Ask family, friends, social media, etc. who they would recommend (and who they would not) as a family physician. Many people will be able to offer insight on their experience with different medical professionals. Ask questions about the care and professionalism they felt at the office.

You can also check out review websites such as vitals.comor zocdoc.com. Though it might seem bizarre to check on a doctor via a website and unknown source, these sites can offer legitimate advice and often have authentic ratings from patients.

2. Education And Credentials

Another good thing to check is your doctor’s background.Where a doctor was educated can play an essential part in the way they practice medicine. Finding out where they attended medical school and performed their residency will help to determine their experience and knowledge. Additionally, knowing what hospital they completed their residency at will provide you with the right information about what types of doctors taught them.

Insurance companies may also be able to provide doctor credentials. Or when visiting the doctor’s office, simply ask to see a copy of their practice history.

Not all doctors are required to be board certified; however, if a doctor is board certified, it means they are certified in a specialty. The boards exam is rigorous, thus it can be reassuring to have a physician who is certified.

3. Call The Office

Before visiting, call the doctor’s office to gauge how friendly and helpful the staff is. Because you will be dealing with the staff on a regular basis, it can be helpful to speak with the staff and see how they treat you.

4. Go Ahead and Visit

Of course the best method for finding a comfortable and knowledgeable doctor is to just visit their practice. Watch how the doctor interacts with other patients, their staff, and how the nurses and receptionists work with patients in front of and away from the doctor. If there is a lack of respect and a condescending attitude toward patients, this practice most likely does not value its patients and their concerns.

5. Ask your Questions

When visiting for your first appointment, come prepared with a list of questions prepared to ask about the practice.These may include:

•How is the doctor reachable? By phone? Email? Appointment only?

•How long can be expected before a call or email is returned? Does the doctor return the calls, or do staff members?

•What kind of alternative treatments do they talk about and prescribe?

Finding a trustworthy physician is not an easy task, but taking the time to search for the best fit is worth the time. When trusting your family’s health and your own, it is important to be confident in who is treating you.

Guest post written by Jessica Socheski.

Image from gooddeals.com



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