As the seasons change, folks are making important healthcare decisions of whether to choose a new Family Doctor or to continue with their current care. This being said, I decided to dedicate an article to Choosing a Family Doctor. Family doctors are doctors that care for the whole family. They care for the physical, mental and emotional health of both the patient and their families.
Family doctors know the most current treatments and technologies. They normally train for at least 3 years in a medical practice setting, treating patients in the office, the hospital and possibly at home. They also re-certify more than any other medical specialty. Family doctors continue to educate themselves as part of their re-certification. This allows them to apply the latest medical breakthroughs in their patients’ lives.
Family doctors are specially trained in preventative medicine. They believe that preventing a health problem is better than having to overcome one. If you are looking for a family doctor, try talking with your friends and family.
Once you have the names of a few doctors, call their offices to get more information:
- Do they accept your insurance?
- What are the office hours?
- What hospital does the doctor use?
- How many doctors are in the practice?
Once you find a doctor that meets your needs, schedule an appointment so that you can meet and talk to the doctor.
During the appointment be sure that:
- You’re comfortable talking to the doctor.
- The doctor answers all your questions.
- The doctor explains things so that you understand them.
- You had enough time to ask all your questions.
For an effective visit, be sure to tell your doctor about any current and past health care issues.
- Any symptoms you are having.
- Your health history.
- Personal information including whether you are stressed or if your life is changing.
- Any medicines you are currently taking. Bring them with you or create a list of all you medicines. Include information about what and how often you take the medicine. You should also write down the strength of the medicine.
- Any side effects you have from your medicine.
- Vitamin supplements you take
- X-rays or test results or medical records you have can be brought to the appointment.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s important for you to let your doctor know if you don’t understand something. Family Practitioners want to educate their patients because they know that education and prevention go hand in hand. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call our office at (757) 488-3333. I would be glad to get to know you and your family!
~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, MD