What to Look for When Choosing a Primary Care Physician
Whether you’ve recently moved to a new area or your insurance coverage has changed, finding a family physician can be challenging. In fact, finding a family health center that provides care for your entire family may feel like an uphill battle.
If you’re looking for quality health services but aren’t sure how to go about it, here’s what you need to know.
Check with Your Insurance
When it comes to finding a new physician, you first need to check with your insurance company. Depending on your policy, there be restrictions on who you can see without having to pay out of pocket. Make sure that your plan covers the care you are looking to receive and from whom.
If you have children and need to find a pediatric clinic, you’ll also need to verify that the one you choose is covered by your insurance. If you’re paying out of pocket, then you should ask friends, family, and co-workers for referrals. If you recently moved to a new city, you can always check online for health reviews as well.
Since doctors in the USA are must be board-certified, you can also find reputable physicians by going to the medical licensing board website in the state where you reside. For instance, if you’re looking for a family doctor in St George UT, you can search on the licensing board’s website to begin your search.
This is particularly helpful if you’re looking for a family physician in St George UT or a specialist for a pre-existing medical issue. Note that online verification of current licensing can also help put your mind at ease that you’re putting your medical care in the hands of a qualified professional.
What Else to Look for in a New Physician
In addition to being licensed to practice medicine, there are other things you need to consider. Depending on your needs, you should write a list of questions to ask any prospects. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a free consult with a physician before you make a final decision. If they flat out refuse or expect payment, you may want to look elsewhere.
On your list of questions, you need to know which hospitals he or she is affiliated with, what the after-hours protocol is, and how long does it usually take to get an appointment. You should also take note of how the office staff carries themselves. If they’re not very receptive and don’t want to answer your questions, this could be a reflection of the physician as well.
Just like in your personal relationships, the physician you choose needs to fit the mold. Assess how they approach personalized treatment plans, what’s their protocol for dealing with emergencies, and, most importantly, do you feel heard? Having compassion and genuinely listening to patients should always be on your must-have list for a primary care physician.
Choosing a new healthcare provider should never be made in haste. Take the time to ask the right questions, get a feel for the office staff, and how the office runs after checking that the family clinic is in your insurance network and is board-certified. If you feel like something is off, it probably is. There are plenty of reputable, caring physicians who will be more than happy to address your concerns and welcome you and your family into their practice.
For families in St. George, UT, setup a free consultation with family doctors at Callahan Clinic! We not only offer a pediatric clinic for children, but preventative medicine and chronic care for patients of all ages. Visit us to see if our compassionate and experienced primary care physicians are the right fit for you.