Your primary care physician (PCP) is more than just a doctor. You want a doctor that makes you feel comfortable when discussing sensitive topics. To give you the best medical care, your PCP needs to understand medicines that work well for you. Potential treatments should fit your preferences and lifestyle.
As you can see, an intimate knowledge and strong relationship make a big difference in your health care. Check out these 5 tips to help you choose the best doctor for you.
- Check Insurance Coverage
When you are looking for a primary care physician, you maximize your health care dollars by choosing an in-network doctor. Most insurance plans charge more when you see a doctor that is outside the network. If you do not have access to your insurance plan’s website to check for the list of doctors, call them to ask for a list. Alternatively, call HMG to ask if we accept your insurance.
- Ask Friends and Family
Ask friends and family about doctors they like. You will get some recommendations of doctors they really like. Look for common ground between you and a potential doctor. If you have a chronic condition, you will want a physician that focuses on that. While the doctor may be great for a friend, he or she may not be perfect for you. Recognize that your health needs and preferences are unique. Take a step beyond treating your health to make sure you are comfortable with a doctor.
- Chart the Location
A convenient location makes a world of difference in keeping appointments. Whether you are sick or have a preventative care appointment, no one wants a long commute to see a doctor. Consider the location of potential doctors in relation to your work and your home. You’re more likely to keep appointments and visit your doctor for everyday health needs when he or she is conveniently located. This puts you on the path to build a strong doctor-patient relationship. This is one reason that you’ll find an HMG primary care physician near you.
- Balance Communications and Policies
Going to the doctor for an annual physical is different than trying to manage chronic health issues. For example, what is the medication refill policy? Can you schedule and communicate online? How quickly can you get an appointment? If you need someone to explain test results, it’s important to know that the doctor or nurse will contact you personally instead of mailing a letter. Ask about policies and communications that are important to you. If your doctor’s preferences are similar to yours, it will be easier to build trust.
- Trust Your Feelings
Ideally, your doctor is your health care support for many years. Make sure that the two of you mesh. Can you understand your physician’s recommendation? Do you have enough time to discuss your health issues? If you feel that something is off, trust your instincts. It’s ok that a doctor isn’t a match for you. You need to feel comfortable with your doctor. Choose wisely because finding the right doctor is one of the most important decisions you make for your health.