When choosing a family doctor, there are several fundamental things that you need to consider. Your family’s health is important therefore, you should pay close attention to certain factors when you are choosing a family doctor.
One of the most effective ways of finding a family doctor is to ask around. Friends, family members, and colleagues might be able to point you in the right direction. If your search proves futile, you can also enquire at your local library, citizens advice service, or town hall. Public service facilities like libraries and town halls should be able to provide you with the help you need.
Create a List
Once you have gathered all the information pertaining to family doctors in your local area, compile a comprehensive list. This list will facilitate the process of making contact and visiting the doctors that you have been recommended.
Make contact with the doctors on the list, make an in-person inquiry or contact them by phone. In-person is always best because it gives you the opportunity to see the facility, speak to the staff and learn more about the services available.
Ask as many questions as possible, here are some of the questions that you might want to ask when you visit local doctors offices:
Do they accept your health plan?
This is a vital question to ask because not every primary care provider will actually accept your healthcare plan therefore, you need to establish this before you make your decision.
Do they work on a group schedule?
Some doctor’s offices have multiple doctors working on a group schedule. This means that you won’t always get to see your family doctor. Most often, you should get to see your designated family doctor but if the doctor’s office runs on a group schedule sometimes it’s not always possible.
Ask for quality ratings
You have a right to check quality ratings therefore if the doctor’s office fails to provide you with this information, check with your Insurance company, they might be able to provide you with their quality rating.
Make a Cold Call
Calling into the office is best, however, it is worthwhile making a cold call before you go just to gain a first impression. Ask if they are taking new patients and see what they say, a professional answer that clearly outlines waiting times will create a good initial impression. Any signs of unprofessionalism will facilitate the decision-making process.
Find out about Logistics
The purpose of finding out about logistics is to find out how the office runs. Do they set up online appointments? Do you have to call for an appointment or do they have an online booking system? Do they have an efficient walk-in service? What are the typical waiting times for walk-in services?
Will they cater to your specific needs?
Are diabetic? Do you have an autistic child or other health issues that require special attention? If so, do they have the facilities to take care of your specific needs?
Is it Possible to have a Female doctor?
Some religious groups might require a female doctor only, do they offer the flexibility to choose the gender of your doctor? These are necessary questions especially if you belong to a specific religious group.
Search online for doctors in your local area, for example, if you are searching for an OKC doctor, you would search for a doctor in that particular area. Your online search should provide you with contact details and distance from your location.
Once you have spoken with the doctor’s office, you have visited the office and gathered the relevant information. Search for reviews online, contact your friends and family and ask them if they had experience with a specific doctor. Search for a particular doctor’s name online to see what comes up. When it comes to your family’s health and wellbeing, all appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that you are making the right decision.
Make an Appointment to Sign up
Making an appointment to sign up is the first step in choosing your family doctor. After your appointment, ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not this particular doctor is the right doctor for yourself and your family.
Does the doctor make you feel at ease? Did the doctor ask relevant questions? Did he or she answer all the questions that you had regarding their service? Did they explain things in a professional and straightforward manner? How did you feel after you left the initial appointment?
Trust Your Gut
Often, a gut feeling can give you all the answers you need when it comes to choosing a family doctor or when it comes to making decisions in general. Focus on the way you feel, if it doesn’t feel right, move on to another doctor. There is no harm in trying different doctors until you are completely happy with the decision that you have made.
Ask Your Family
Ask your partner and your children how they feel about the doctor, their honest feedback should play a significant role in the decision that you make.
To conclude, finding a family doctor might seem daunting because there are several factors that you need to consider when choosing a family doctor. Your family’s health is paramount therefore, conduct as much research as possible, visit the doctor’s office, ask friends and family, search for genuine reviews and test out the service before you make a steadfast decision. There is absolutely no harm in signing up to a doctor and moving on after some time if you are not satisfied with the service they provide.
Ask as many questions as possible, ask current patients how they feel about the services offered, also search online for family doctors in your local area, most Google listings will come with patient reviews, pay close attention to the feedback that past and current patients give, they could facilitate the decision-making process, making it easier for you to find the best family doctor for your family’s health needs.