Dec 11, 2017
Here are a few tips to consider during your search for a doctor in order to find the perfect fit for you.
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Maybe you're looking for a new doctor because you're finally ready to leave the pediatricians office. Maybe your doctor left their practice, essentially leaving you in the dust. Maybe you’re no longer under your parents’ plan and need to find a doctor of your own. Regardless of your reasoning, finding a doctor that fits your needs is of paramount importance.
Your primary care physician is the gateway to all of the other medical care you will receive, so it's important to find one that fits your needs. No matter how long you plan to see your primary-care physician, it's important to have a good relationship with them. Ultimately, you'll want to find someone you're comfortable having open and honest conversations with; someone who is an expert in healthcare; most importantly, someone who is within your insurance network. Find the doctor that's right for you with these simple tips:
Survey your network
First and foremost, you need to limit your choices to the doctors that are within your network. Most often, health plans have negotiated rates with specific doctors and hospitals. These options are considered to be "in-network," which means you'll pay less out of pocket when you select to work with one of these physicians. Using a doctor that's outside the scope of your plan can result in higher healthcare costs, so stay in-network to save the most upfront.
A close family member or friend might make a suggestion to you regarding a doctor or other healthcare provider. While you might be more inclined to trust this person's judgment right off the bat, it's important to find out the reasons why he or she likes seeing that doctor. Their personal preferences might vary greatly when compared to yours. Having a conversation that touches on the specifics of why they like their doctor (ex. they have good bedside manor; they're prompt with appointment times) can give you a better idea as to whether or not you would jive with the same person.
Do your research
It's easy to conduct a simple search to find the doctor nearest you, but it's important to look into that doctor further. Where did they go to school? What city do they practice in, and how far is that city in relation to where you're located? What hospitals are they affiliated with? What are their current patients saying about them? The answers to all of these questions can better guide you in the direction of finding a doctor that will fulfill your needs with the utmost convenience. If you're looking for a doctor that specializes in a specific area, limit your search by asking specifically for the type of doctor you're looking for.
Pay them a visit
Nothing is going to reassure you that you're going to have a lasting relationship with a doctor like the initial meeting. Regardless of how much research you do, When you do visit, pay attention to how you feel when you enter the office. Evaluate the demeanor of the receptionists and nurse practitioners. Take note of how they speak to others, both on and phone and in person. Be mindful of the time you're waiting to physically see the doctor. When you do come into contact with your doctor, pay attention to the way you feel when you interact. Do they feel like someone you would be comfortable sharing information with, or is there a hesitation? If for any reason there is that feeling of uneasiness, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
Finding a doctor, whether it's primary care or a specialist, can feel like a major obstacle.
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