If you are moving, changing your health insurance or are simply unhappy with your current doctor, you may be looking for a new primary care physician. As you search for a new doctor, there are many factors to consider. Some of the most obvious include whether the doctor takes your insurance, their location, their experience and how comfortable you feel talking to them. However, there are many other factors that you need to consider as well. Here are a few factors that you may not think about or overlook that are important to consider as you search for a new primary care physician.
If the Doctor is Part of a Group Practice or Individual Practice
One important factor to consider as you search for a new primary care doctor is whether the doctor you are considering has an individual practice or is part of a group practice. As a general rule of thumb, if the doctor is part of a group practice, the other doctors in the group will pitch in and take on the doctor's patients should your doctor be sick or on vacation when you need care. If the doctor has an individual practice, there may not be anyone that takes on their patients when they are away, which can leave you searching for a doctor should you need urgent care and your doctor is in vacation. A benefit to an individual practice is that it is smaller. The waiting room may be smaller as there is only one doctor's patients, and there may be fewer staff. Ultimately, you have to decide which is ideal for you and select a doctor that best fits in with what you prefer.
What Hospital the Doctor Admits Patients To
Another factor to consider as you select a primary care physician is what hospital the doctor admits patients to. Not every doctor has privileges at every hospital. This can make it difficult or impossible for them to care for you or get you admitted into the hospital of your choice should you be sick. If you live in an area that has multiple hospitals, and you prefer one over the other, always ask a doctor if they admit patients to that hospital and if they have privileges at that hospital.
How You Communicate With the Doctor
The last factor you want to consider when selecting a new primary care physician is how you can communicate with the doctor. Some doctors are hard to reach. You may have to talk to staff to relay your message to the doctor. Other doctors have certain times of the day where they will take phone calls from patients. One of the newest trends is for doctors to allow patients to email them. The doctor will then respond to the email when they have time throughout the day. Being able to communicate with your doctor is important. It can give you peace of mind that you need to be seen or not be seen based on what you are experiencing. It can help you get a prescription filled quickly. Or it can help you ensure you are following doctor's orders, in case you forget what you are told. As you search for a new primary care physician, always find out how you can communicate with the doctor.
Finding a new primary care physician is a time-consuming task, as there are many factors to consider. But there is no replacement for finding the right doctor. Learning what factors you need to consider as you search for your new primary care physician will help ensure your satisfaction with the doctor both now and into the future.