You and your primary care physician (PCP) share an important relationship focused on one thing—your health. To get the most out of your care, it’s important to choose a PCP you are comfortable with who fits your needs. Whether you don’t have a PCP or are looking for a new one, these tips can help you make the right choice.
List Your Priorities
Before you start your search, think about what’s important to you in a PCP. This might include:
- What type of provider they are (For example, do you want a family practitioner who treats all ages or a provider who specializes in care for older adults?)
- If the provider has a specialty, such as treating diabetes or asthma
- If their office accepts your health insurance
- Which hospital the provider refers to
- If the provider offers telehealth services
- If the office location and hours are convenient
Get Personal References
One of the best ways to find a good provider is to get referrals from people you trust. Ask your family and friends which PCP they see and what they like about them. Make a list of the PCPs you are interested in pursuing.
Call the PCP office that’s first on your list and speak with the staff. Find out if the provider meets your criteria, is accepting new patients, and takes your health insurance.
Schedule an initial visit with the provider. You’ll be asked to fill out some new-patient paperwork, so go prepared with your medical history and current list of medicines. After your visit, ask yourself the following questions. Did the provider:
- Spend adequate time with me?
- Make me feel comfortable?
- Answer my questions?
- Explain things so that I could understand?