Are you in the throws of a primary care physician search? Finding the right family health care provider is important. You want to know that your family’s well being is in capable hands. If a health crisis were to arise, you need to know that your family care providers are proactive about identifying the health issue before it gets worse, and also that they are prepared to take whatever steps are required to give your family member the best chances of good health.
This is where your primary care physician search comes in. Finding the right family care physicians is the cornerstone of helping your family achieve the best possible health. Here are a few tips to assist you in your primary care physician search:
- Look for a doctor who will partner with you.
Good medical care comes through a partnership between the patient and the physician. It doesn’t matter if your doctor is the real life, living and breathing version of Dr House, the genius diagnostic physician from the TV show House. Good health comes through your physician listening to you, and creating a dialogue to identify any health issues, diagnose them, and create the best care plan. Your doctor must be good at listening, asking the right questions, and getting the information needed to make treatment decisions.
If the doctor you are considering in your primary care physician search takes more of a “tell you what’s best for you” approach, it might be a good idea to keep looking. There is no class in medical school for knowing everything about you and your lifestyle and how a particular medical treatment will impact you particularly. You are an expert on the subject of you, and your doctor should recognize that and partner with you.
- Make communication a huge priority.
The thing about health issues is that you cannot plan for them. It’s a Friday night and your child suddenly spikes a high fever. You can’t decide if it’s best to take them to the emergency room or a walk in health clinic, or wait and watch. In situations like this, it is a (literal) lifesaver to have a good channel of communication open with a doctor. Being able to call their on-call number and tell a health professional the symptoms and get direction on how to treat at home or when to take them in, if necessary, is such a big deal.
While searching for the best physician, make sure you ask how the doctor handles after-hour medical needs. You want to hear that they have a system in place for patients to get a hold of their physicians. You want to hear that they have a goal to get back in touch with you within a certain length of time. You want to know that if you need care, you don’t have to wait until the next available appointment to get it.
- Listen to the experiences other people had.
There are some factors in finding the right physician that you just can’t know beforehand. You can’t ask a physician, “What do you do in blah blah blah situation?” for every single possible scenario that could arise. However, you can learn about the experiences that other patients had with the same physician and use it as information while deciding whether or not a physician is right for your family.
Look at websites that offer patient reviews. Ask around to friends and family members. Ask for physician suggestions on local online forums in your community. Identify the physicians you should steer clear of, and the ones that you should consider using.
Keep in mind that a person is ten times more likely to make a negative review after having a bad experience than they are to post a positive review after having a great experience. If you see a few negative reviews for any physician, it shouldn’t automatically black list them from your search. However, if you see the same complaint about a doctor over and over, it could save you the trouble of learning the hard way.
It isn’t just a small thing to find the best family care physician. Having a doctor who is there when you need them and who listens to you and helps you identify the best care could literally save your life.