So you just moved your family into a brand new city. Now that you’re here, all you’re concerned about is unpacking and returning the U-Haul. However, I suggest that you should include “find family doctor” on your to-do list. Here are some things to consider when choosing your family doctor.
Choosing Your Family Doctor
Benefits of a Family Doctor
Don’t place this task as your last priority. There are several benefits to having a family doctor. If you or your child becomes ill, you won’t have to scramble to find a doctor or feel forced to go to the emergency room. A family doctor will also know your medical history already, and he will be able to give you the best care.
Do Your Family Doctor Research!
Picking the right doctor is crucial to your health. This may be your doctor for the next decade. So don’t open your phone book (or online directory) and point a finger at a random name. Before you call the doctor’s office, do your research.
Ask Friends and Family
Ask your neighbors and family about their experiences with their family doctors. You’ll likely find the best doctor by simply asking around.
Consider your Personal Health Problems
Pick a doctor who has more experience with your particular health problems. Family doctors recertify frequently and have a wide knowledge of many ailments. So no matter what you have, it’s likely they can help you. But if they can’t treat it, they will refer you to a reliable specialist.
Check for any Negative (or Positive) Reports
To be safe, there are several resources to check the credibility of your potential doctor. You could look up the board of licensure (or a similar title) for your state. Many websites allow patients to post reviews about their doctors. If you look at these websites, keep in mind that those who have negative experiences are more likely to post negative reviews than those who had great experiences. But if the negative comments seem excessive, you may want to listen to them.
Make sure you are comfortable
If you have a good doctor, you will have time to ask questions, and she will take the time to give you the answers. Her explanations will be unhurried and make sense. She isn’t worried about getting to the next appointment. You need someone who will be on your team–collaborating to discover your condition. You need to feel human, not like “just another patient.”
Look For the Best Family Doctor
So as soon as you get into town, and even before all the boxes are unpacked, start searching for the best family doctor around that is still taking new patients. You don’t have to stick to the first doctor you see. If he doesn’t fit your family’s needs, move on to find another one, who could be the best doctor for you.
Your family doctor will monitor your kids’ health as they grow up. If he doesn’t retire first, he will advise you when your joints start to creak with old age. So, pick wisely; you may be dealing with this doctor for years to come.
Kevin Morris is a freelance writer interested in many different topics, including learning about the latest in healthcare and the benefits of having a family doctor. Some of his articles have been used by renowned businesses, such as CIA Medical.