Choosing a Doctor
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.