Your primary care physician is responsible for giving you general care in medicine. They’re the first people you go to when you have medical concerns, and they can lead you to more specialized professionals if you need them. When choosing one for yourself or your family, it’s important to pick someone perfect for you.
Many types of doctors can provide primary care, including internists, geriatricians, and nurse practitioners. If you’re interested in looking at the full list, you can always check with your health insurance provider. You’ll most likely choose a doctor from one of their lists because getting an out-of-network primary care physician can be more expensive than necessary.
Here are some other ways to help you choose the best primary care provider for you and your family:
1. Think About the Qualities You’re Looking for in a Doctor
The idea of the perfect doctor will vary for different people because everyone has different needs. Before you choose one for yourself, it’s best to know what you’re looking for. You could prefer a female doctor over a male. You might also prefer someone whose practice is closer to home.
If there are specific conditions you’d prefer your doctor to be familiar with, you should keep that in mind. It’ll also help to have specific values or goals in mind that you’ll want your doctor to have as well. That way, you’ll be assured knowing that you more or less have the same opinion on important things.
2. Ask Your Family and Friends for Recommendations
Word-of-mouth recommendations are very common practices when it comes to choosing a doctor. This is because some people may have more experience with some physicians than others, and picking their brains for their wisdom can help you make a better decision.
If you prefer someone in your area, your family and friends could also be more familiar with the doctors there. You can ask them about their positive and negative experiences and see if that matches with what you’re okay with. They might also know more personalized information about the doctor they’re recommending.
3. Consult Your Health Insurance Provider
Consulting your health insurance provider is another smart move when looking for a primary care physician. That’s because most providers will already have a list of primary care doctors you can choose from. If you decide to make an appointment with any of them, you won’t have to worry about expensive fees.
If you have an HMO insurance plan, you can only choose from the list of doctors provided for you. You’ll only be able to choose an out-of-network doctor if it comes with a referral for an emergency situation.
4. Consult Multiple Healthcare Databases
You can also choose a primary care physician based on multiple healthcare databases. The American Medical Association’s Doctor Finder website is one of these databases filled with suggestions for professionals who can meet your needs.
Other databases include MedlinePlus’ directories, and the Medicare Physician Compare tool if you have a Medicare insurance plan. While these directories aren’t great if you’re looking for a specific individual, they can help narrow down your search and show you a list of possible primary care physicians in your area.
You can try these tips when looking for a primary care provider to ensure you’re getting a professional who can meet your needs the best. And when you’ve narrowed down your options, you can call them up for an initial consultation.
For the best primary care physicians in Santa Fe, Aspen Medical Center is a locally owned outpatient medical facility. We offer state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Get in touch with us today for more information.