A primary care doctor is your first line of defense when seeking treatment for illness or injury. A good primary care physician provides wellness care, screenings, immunizations, and treatment for non-emergency injuries and conditions. They also coordinate your overall care with other medical specialists, providing referrals when necessary. So how do you find a doctor that is right for you?
What to Look for in a Primary Care Physician
#1 When it comes to finding the right doctor for your family, there are several factors that need to be taken into account. First and foremost for many people is the need to find an in-network provider. This can be as simple as checking with your insurance company to locate a doctor that accepts your insurance and is close enough to your area to allow for routine visits without having to travel too far.
#2 Make sure to find a doctor with the background and skills you need. Primary care doctors can include family practice doctors, general practice physicians, internal medicine specialists, or depending on your needs, a geriatrician or a pediatrician for your kids. The main thing is to look for a doctor that has the training and skills to match your healthcare history and needs.
#3 If you are moving to a new area or just looking for a new primary care physician, referrals can really come in handy. You can ask your doctor or friends and family to find out who they recommend, and why. You can also check with local hospitals you prefer to use. They can provide you with a list of doctors they are affiliated with. Many will even go a step further and break your choices down by male or female doctors, specialties, training, board certifications, and office locations.
#4 Once you have narrowed the field down a bit, you are ready to meet the physicians themselves. Since your primary care doctor plays such a vital role in the healthcare process, it is critical that you feel comfortable with them. You need to know that you can ask questions and trust your doctor. Personality and bedside manner are also important here. Some patients are not as concerned about this, as they are other qualifications. It really comes down to your personal tastes and comfort levels.
#5 Make sure you are comfortable not just with the doctor, but the staff and overall feel of the office as well. While the doctor is most certainly the linchpin in your healthcare, nurses and ancillary staff matter as well. You might also want to think about any additional services such as access to diagnostic tools, distance to your home or work, extended hours and other considerations that fit your lifestyle and needs.
If you are looking for excellent care for yourself or your whole family in Sarasota and Manatee County, call Intercoastal Medical Group today, contact information here or request an appointment online with one of our highly qualified, caring physicians. Intercoastal Medical Group: dedicated to your wellbeing.