If an individual doesn’t have a Primary Care Physician (PCP), a sudden illness or injury can mean a trip to the local emergency room or urgent care facility, which may result in costly bills and an inconsistent physician relationship. Assuring you have quality medical care starts with finding a PCP who knows your history and is available when you need care. There are many different factors to think about when choosing a doctor for yourself or your family, including: specialty, experience, insurance coverage and more. Here is a list of steps to get you started on your own selection:
Talk to a friend- Personal references are a great way to find a quality doctor you can trust.
Check with your insurance. Call your insurance company or visit the website and look for a list of doctors who accept your plan. If you aren’t insured, you will want to research a plan that works for you.
What kind of doctor do you need? Narrow down your specific needs before making your decision. PCPs typically fall into three categories: Family medicine, Internal medicine and Pediatrics. Female patients may prefer to see a gynecologist or obstetrician.
What kind of doctor do you want? For your convenience, consider location of the practice, office hours, appointment availability and language needs you may have. Also take note of which hospital(s) the doctor works through, any surgical procedures they perform and who would be their substitute when they are unavailable.
The best time to select a doctor for yourself or your family is when you don’t need one.