What to Consider When Choosing a Primary Care Physician?
When choosing a primary care physician, you want to choose someone whom you can have an honest conversation with who will listen to your concerns and help you make the best decisions for your medical treatment. Family Medicine Healthcare has the top providers for you who offer the best treatment options. For more information, schedule an appointment online or contact us.
Table of Contents:
How do I choose a primary care physician?
What 4 questions should you ask to select a family physician?
What are the 4 things you should have checked at each visit with you primary care physician?
What are 3 tips that can help you get the most out of your next doctor’s appointment?
When choosing a primary care physician there are a few things you want to consider, it requires research and planning. Primary care physicians provide general care which may include long-term care along with preventative care, routine checkups and screenings, acute and chronic illness care, and referrals to specialists. There are several things to consider for instance hospital affiliation, and primary care specialty. You will need to consult your insurance company; they may be able to compile a list for you. You will want to verify the doctor’s background and make sure that they match any unique factors that you have. Asking friends and family and even colleagues for recommendations. Searching online may also be helpful but you may not get the answers you need regarding the doctor’s expertise and experience, but it will be a good indication of wait room wait times and staff friendliness. Other factors to take into consideration are office hours and location if they are accepting new patients and what appointments are available. Telemedicine and if doctor practice at a certain location is other considerations.
When selecting a family physician, you will want to start off by asking the basic questions, does the doctor accepts new patients and what days or hours does the doctor see patients. Are there hours set aside for telephone calls? When making appointments how far in advance will they need to be made? Something else to consider is how emergencies are handled, and if emails are acceptable for non-emergencies questions. When your doctor is unavailable, who would you see instead?
At every appointment with your primary care physician will check your blood pressure if normal they may only require it checked every two years if high, they may order more tests. Your height and weight will be measured, this is done to calculate your BMI (body mass index) to measure your body fat. This is measured to see if you need to lose weight to remain in good health.
Cancer screening is also done depending on age will determine what screenings you may need, after the age of 50 men will be screened for colon cancer whereas at 40 women may have breast exams. A full body scan can help screen for skin cancer. Your primary care physician will also request a blood test for cholesterol these tests start at age 35 for men and 45 for women, if you have a family history of heart disease these tests may start sooner. Your doctor may also add a check for diabetes in your blood work as well. All other age-related exams will be performed.
With your annual appointment, you will want to make sure you get the most information, so it is important that you be prepared for the visit. You will want to be prepared with important questions, having three or four questions about your concerns will help you to discuss them one by one and enable you with the information you need. Use your time well and stick to the point of giving your doctor your symptoms like when they started and how long it lasts so on and so forth. It is best to be honest with your primary care physician as you will not help yourself in the long run. Your doctor may not have all the answers but can give you resources to find them. If you feel your doctor is not listening or may not think your symptoms are valid, it might be time to seek out another doctor, one who will listen to your concerns and act on them to help you live a healthy life. We serve patients from Chesapeake VA, Norfolk VA, Portsmouth VA, Suffolk VA, Virginia Beach VA, and Hampton VA.