Choosing a primary care physician is essential in today’s insurance climate to make sure that a competent health professional can oversee your care and coordinate your all of your medical needs. Think of your primary care physician as your medical home, as he or she is the doctor you will see the most for wellness visits, routine screenings and minor illness such as ear infections, strep throat and the like.
Your primary care physician is also your go-to individual for health questions and concerns. If you are enrolled in an HMO, your primary care physician is also the individual who must refer you to a specialist.
At the Surgeon’s Scrubroom, we know that your relationship with your primary care physician most likely won’t last forever, although in rare cases, they often last for decades. More often, patients move or the insurance provided through their place of employment doesn’t include your doctor in their network, forcing a change.
No matter what, the relationship between a primary care physician and patient is an important one because you’ll want to feel comfortable having honest conversations with someone who is vested in your health care needs. To that end, here are some tips for choosing a primary care physician.
Find an In-Network Doctor
Most insurance plans have discounted rates with specified doctors and hospital in your area, meaning you will pay less out of pocket for visiting these physicians. Selecting an in-network doctor will help you avoid surprise costs.
Meet Your Health Needs
Not every doctor is going to be right for you. Several types, such as those who specialize in family practice, internal medicine or general practice, and even pediatricians, can serve as primary care physicians. Family practitioners treat people of all ages and can often treat specialties such as sports injuries or women’s health needs. Internists treat adults and specialize in prevention and management of disease and chronic conditions. General practice physicians also treat patients of any age and often are osteopaths, who are doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system.
Check in often with the Physician’s Scrubroom to get tips on how to manage your health and life.