Visiting a doctor regularly for check-ups is necessary to ensure your health is in good condition. However, many people struggle with finding a trustworthy, approachable, and high-quality primary care doctor. When you’re visiting a doctor for the first time, you should make most of your consultation by asking the right questions.
Below are ten questions you should ask when visiting a doctor for the first time.
1. What are your office hours?
Begin the conversation by asking about hours of availability. Making a doctor’s appointment isn’t always simple. Most people have work or family commitments that make it difficult to see a doctor any time of the day. As such, a doctor who offers extended hours can be a big advantage for patients.
2. How many locations do you have?
When visiting a doctor, ask about other locations you can visit. Many times, a single location may not be convenient and can restrict appointment availability. As such, a clinic with multiple locations can be a big plus for patients.
3. What insurance do you accept?
Paying for medical services can be a hassle without insurance or without knowing what the cost will be up front. As such, discussing insurance coverage is extremely important during your first visit. This will give you an idea of whether you can afford to see the doctor on a regular basis.
4. How do you handle emergency appointments?
Ask how the office handles emergencies, such as sudden flu symptoms, sore throats, and injuries that occur while playing sports. Medical needs can arise suddenly, and you should have a doctor who is available when you need them. A doctor who isn’t available without an appointment well ahead of time may be useless in emergency situations.
5. How do you communicate with other specialists?
Some doctors only refer patients to specialists and leave it at that. However, good quality physicians work closely with specialists to understand a patient’s condition and needs. Many doctors work in the same facilities as specialists, which makes patient care much better. You can get everything taken care of under one roof. Find out if your doctor works closely with specialists you may need, such as an endocrinologist, allergist, or heart specialist.
6. Do you perform diagnostic and imaging tests on-site?
Getting tests done is a regular part of maintaining your health. On many occasions, you will need to get bloodwork and imaging tests done. As such, a clinic that can perform such tasks on-site is very convenient for patients. It will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
7. How can I learn more about my condition?
You can’t learn everything about your condition in one sitting. Ask your doctor if there are other ways for you to be informed about your health, such as through their website or resources they can provide you.
8. What kind of treatments do you normally offer?
During your first visit, ask about the variety of treatments offered by the doctor. Does the clinic offer more than simple prescriptions, such as injections, wound care, and preventive screenings? Can you get treatments done at the office for common illnesses and conditions or do you need to see a specialist every time? This will give you an idea of the variety of treatments available to you.
9. Are you board-certified?
Not all doctors are equal when it comes to standards and quality of care. As such, you should make every attempt to choose a physician who has excellent qualifications in practicing medicine. Board-certified doctors follow a high standard of care set by leading professionals in the field. Always go with board-certified professionals for your medical care needs.
10. How do you feel about preventive care?
Some doctors focus on fixing issues when they occur, while others focus on preventing issues from arising in the first place. Needless to say, you should go with a doctor who values preventive care and wants you to maintain good health. A physician who does this will encourage screenings and tests as well as a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet and exercise. Find out if your doctor values preventive care.
Comprehensive Diagnostic & Health Care Services in Florida
Intercoastal Medical Group is a professional association of highly credentialed health care providers. For your convenience, we have ten offices in Sarasota and Manatee County, Florida. We offer comprehensive diagnostic and health care services to our patients through our highly experienced physicians and state-of-the-art medical centers.
Are you planning to visit a doctor for the first time? Experience patient-centered health care services from our skilled providers by scheduling an appointment at any of our locations. You may also request an appointment online. We are looking forward to hearing from you.