Your primary care physician is your first link in creating a strong healthcare chain. Living a healthy lifestyle means more than eating right and exercising. It also involves seeing your doctor on a regular basis for routine checkups. You want to build and maintain a close relationship with your primary care physician. He or she can help you when you’re feeling ill and monitor your general health. By seeing you on a regular basis, he or she will be able to notice changes that may indicate the presence of illness or disease. Your primary care physician can also help you create a plan for healthy living by helping you identify the areas you need to improve upon so that you can reduce potential risk factors for certain diseases. The primary care physician is the person who will work with other specialists, as needed, and coordinate all of your healthcare. The type of primary health care physician you choose depends on your personal needs.
Make a list of priorities that are important to you. For example, do you want a physician that practices by himself or would you prefer a group practice?
Look for a doctor who is board certified. Determine what hospital the doctor has admission privileges to.
Ask friends for referrals. Compiling a broad list will enable you to choose one that fits your needs. Remember, not all doctors to whom you are referred will necessarily be accepting new patients or your health insurance plan.
Learn the location of the doctor’s office and his hours. He should be conveniently located near either your home or office.
Good communication is key. See if the doctor takes the time to listen to you. Ask yourself if you are comfortable with him/her. Does the doctor treat you with respect?
Check the doctor’s support staff. Are they courteous, organized, polite and helpful? Will they provide easy access to the doctor when needed?
You need to find out if the doctor will accept your insurance plan.
Ask about the doctor’s fees, payment schedules and options. Determine how far in advance you need to make an appointment and how long the wait is in the doctor’s office once you have arrived for your appointment.