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By Thea Theresa English

How you can locate a good primary care physician

You have a new health insurance plan and it is time to find a primary care physician. You want to choose a doctor within your network if you have an HMO because when you choose someone outside of your plan, you will have to pay more out-of-pocket expenses. Secondly, look for a primary care doctor who is capable of tending to any specific medical needs you have. Family practitioners treat patients of all ages while pediatricians focus on children's needs. There are also the primary care doctors who specialize in internal medicine.

Get recommendations

Another good way to find the best primary care physician is to get recommendations from loved ones. Write down the names and numbers of people they recommend and do your research on them. Visit the different doctors and inquire about the services they offer to patients. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, ask if they accept this insurance.

Doctor should be board certified

The doctor you choose should also be certified by your state and hold a license. You can visit your state's board of health website to get this information. This is important because you want services from a doctor who knows what he is doing and who has expertise.

Comfort level is important

Look for a primary care doctor who you will feel comfortable with because you are going to see this doctor frequently. Determine if this doctor answers your questions truthfully and thoroughly. Is he willing to offer additional advice regarding your medical condition? Is he available for same-day appointments if the need arises? These are things that are important when choosing a doctor.

Preventative care

One of the purposes of visiting a primary care physician is to find out how you can prevent certain diseases before they form in the body. Find out how much experience he has in offering preventative care to patients. This keeps diseases from taking over your body and you save money on medical costs in the future.

Look for a well-connected doctor

There will be times when you will have to see a specialist and it is best to choose a doctor who works inside a major hospital because this means he can connect you with well-known and experienced specialists. For example, if the doctor finds that you have cancer, he can send you to a good oncologist for further treatment.

Location is important too

Another thing to consider is the location of the doctor's office. If you do not drive and find it hard to get a ride from loved ones, you should choose a doctor that is located near your home so that it will be easier to get to your appointments.

Friendliness of staff

The staff should be friendly and offer high-quality service to patients. When you walk in the office, notice the overall attitudes of the workers there. Do they make eye contact with you and are they happy to answer your questions?

Choosing a good primary care doctor takes research and effort but with these suggestions, you can have a doctor that meets your needs.

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