Once upon a time the doctor we went to for everything was our family doctor but now they are called our PCP or Primary Care Providers. They can be MDs, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. We go to them for a yearly exam, a cold, and other common medical problems. If you don’t have a PCP it can become very hard to get any other health care.
We need a Primary Care Provider who fits into our insurance plan, will be available for the majority of our health issues and who we have trust in. Someone we feel comfortable talking to.
The problem often is when our trusted doctor retires or moves. Our insurance no longer covers our doctor. And now we need to find someone new.
Generally, we will ask our family and friends who they use. What they like and dislike about that provider and their practice. Then is the provider covered by our insurance. Are they part of that network? Are they taking new patients?
You also can ask other doctors for recommendations. You can ask your dentist or pharmacist as well.
Then the next step is… Are the Primary Care Providers you’re considering easy to get to? Do their office hours work for you? Again, double check that they are part of the network of health care you are in.
Once you have narrowed it done to one, two or three Primary Care Providers, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Go for a visit and see if you like them. Did they take enough time with you? Did they seem interested in you as a person? Did they answer your questions? Was the office staff helpful and friendly?
If the answer is yes to the questions that are important to you then you’re all set. Otherwise keep looking!
Don’t settle. This is an important decision. Perhaps one of the most important decisions you make.
Remember not everyone likes the same people or the same professionals. That’s why there are so many to choose from.
Find the Doctor and the practice that fits you so that you are comfortable when you are the sickest knowing you are getting the best health care available.