Time for a Change? How to Find the Right Primary Care Provider for Your Needs
Searching for a primary care provider can be a daunting task, especially if you've never had to do it before. A lot of work goes into finding the right primary care physician. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong provider can make it impossible for you to get the care you need. That's where the information provided here comes into the picture. This information will help you choose a primary care provider that's right for you.
Narrow the Field of Practice
When it comes to choosing the right primary care provider, the first thing you need to do is narrow the field. To do that, you need to consider the type of medicine each doctor specializes in. From there, you can determine which type of doctor will serve your needs the best.
Four of the most common specialties include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrician, and geriatrician. Family practitioners provide medical care for the whole family. Pediatricians provide care for children up to their 18th birthday. Internal medicine providers offer medical care for adults ages 18-years and older. Finally, geriatricians provide medical care for anyone over the age of 65.
Make a List of Must-Haves
Once you've narrowed the field of practice, you'll want to make a list of the must-have's. Those are the requirements that identify the type of doctor you want to handle your primary medical care. Some of those requirements might include gender, location, or office hours. However, if you have an existing medical condition, you might want to make sure that the doctor you choose has experience with that condition. Also, if you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you might want to choose a primary care provider who understands your needs.
Contact a Referral Service
If you've done your research, and you still can't narrow down your list of potential primary care providers, it's time to reach out to a referral service. One of the great things about using a referral service is that they have the information you're looking for. In fact, they can provide important details about the physicians you're considering. This can eliminate some of the stress, and provide you with a shorter list of potential providers.
Schedule an Appointment
Now that you have your list of potential providers down to two or three, start scheduling appointments. The first thing you want to do is call the office. When contacting the offices, make note of how the person on the other end of the phone responds to you. Continue your note-taking at the appointment. Consider how the office staff interacts with the patients. Finally, spend a few minutes with the doctor. The information you garner from your appointments will help you choose the right primary care provider for your needs.