Selecting a family physician is an important part of maintaining your family’s health and well being. You need to make sure that you find a reliable family physician that is a good match for your family.
Ask for referrals: Inquire friends and coworkers about their family physicians. The local hospitals and pharmacists are excellent sources as well. Find the doctor’s name and contact numbers and then call up their clinics to find out more information about their office hours, whether their clinics are accepting new patients, availability of after hours services, medical insurance coverage as well as payment policies.
Check for credentials: Ensure that the doctor has credentials and is properly licensed. Verify the credential of each and every physician by calling your state’s medical licensing board to ensure he or she has the proper accreditation.
Location: Make sure the doctor is at a convenient place. No matter how good a family physician may be, if the physician’s clinic is too far away, then that physician is not going to be a good choice for your family. If possible, try to select a family physician whose clinic is convenient to your residence.
Good listener: Make sure the family doctor has a rapport for paying attention to the patients. A good family physician will actively listen to their patient’s issues and ask questions for clarification. A good doctor is able to explain things clearly in plain English and make it easy to understand what’s going on.
Uses electronic health records: Make sure that the family doctor utilizes electronic health records, as it is easier to share important information quickly. This secure online information also allow you to see test results easily, ask for prescription renewals as well as appointments and also receive automatic reminders when you’re due for immunizations and health-maintenance screening tests.
Insurance coverage: A few family doctors will not be covered under your insurance policy or may only be partially covered. If money is a problem, you need to check out how much your insurance will cover when choosing a family physician.
Your first appointment: Make an initial appointment to determine if you are comfortable with the doctor. The doctor must be willing to listen and pay attention on your concerns. Good communication with the doctor and the office staff is the key. Make sure to check into a hospital facilities and quality.
In case you are not comfortable with the doctor, you have the right to find a new one. Finding the best family doctor can be a trial and error process. You have to spend as much time as possible in choosing the best doctor for you and your family.
Author: Nancy Shevell, the author of this article writes.
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