Choosing a Primary Care Physician

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Trying to find the right doctor can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new in town and don’t know very many people. Some people find their doctor through urgent care patient referrals for physicians. Experts recommend, however, people find a primary care physician before they become ill.

Why You Need a Primary Care Physician

Most managed care plans actually require you to have a primary care doctor, but even if your plan does not, having one is still a good idea. Having a primary care physician means you have one main doctor who knows your entire medical history. This can help ensure you are receiving the right treatment by a doctor who is familiar with your situation. You visit your primary care doctor for treatment of routine illnesses, to undergo screenings and regular check-ups, if you have a health concern and to be referred to specialists if needed. 

Types of Primary Care Physicians

Different situations may call for different types of primary care provides for the members of your family. These types include:

• General Practitioner of Family Doctor: These types of doctors care for a variety of health concerns, and can usually treat any patient no matter what their age.
• OB GYN (Obstetrics / Gynecology): These doctors actually specialize in women’s health, childbirth and pregnancy.
• Geriatricians: Geriatricians focus on caring for older adults and senior citizens.
• Pediatricians: These doctors specialize in health care for babies, infants, toddlers, children and adolescents.

Choosing a Doctor

When trying to choose a primary care physician, you should avoid merely picking a name out of the phonebook and instead take the time to research your options. The following tips will help you choose the right doctor for your needs.

• Determine if the doctor is in your network. Choosing to visit a doctor outside your health insurance network will result in higher medical bills. That is why it is important that the doctor you select is covered under your insurance. Once you have a list of local doctors that are in your insurance network, you can begin narrowing down your choices. 
• Research the certification, education and performance history of any physician you are considering. The internet is a great place to find out more information about the doctors in your area. Don’t forget to read reviews about the doctor posted by former and current patients. 
• Contact the doctor’s office to find out about their payment and cancellation policies, after hours care and insurance claims. Also, ask them who covers for that doctor when they are not available, and research that doctor as well.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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