Choosing the Right Doctor

A primary care physician is your first line of defense in maintaining good health. Finding one you like and trust may take a little effort. Here’s some advice from the Healthline website:

Check your network. Staying within your health plan’s network can save you money. Look through your plan’s documents to locate primary care doctors in your community.

Talk to your family and friends. Ask who they go to, and whether they like and trust them. You can also look to other health care workers you know such as your pharmacist, physical therapist, eye doctor, and other health care professionals.

Consider the location. Is it easy for you to visit the doctor’s office? Ask about public transportation, parking, and other access issues. If your doctor’s office is inconvenient to get to, you won’t go as often as you should.

Check availability. How busy is the doctor? Will you be able to get an appointment when you need one? Are tele-visits an option? You should be able to see a doctor quickly when you need to.

Meet the staff. You’ll be interacting with nurses and assistants, not just the doctor. On your first visit, see if they’re friendly and helpful so you’ll be comfortable sharing your concerns with them.

Group vs. Individual practice. In a group practice, you may not always get to see the doctor you choose. On the flip side, if the doctor is a solo practitioner, their availability may be limited.

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