5 Tips For Choosing A Doctor

Whether you are new in town or simply need to find a new doctor, the choices can seem overwhelming. The process of interviewing doctors has lead many people to simply pick a name off of the list providers that accept their insurance, but this isn't the best way to choose a family doctor. The following tips can give you a few more things to consider as you check out the doctors in your provider network:

Tip #1: Narrow by specialty

A family doctor is usually a general practitioner, but there are still a few specialties even under this heading. For example, if you are older, then you want a family doctor that focuses on geriatric care. For those with children, pediatric care is a necessity. In some cases, you may not be able to meet all of your family's needs with one doctor. You may be able to meet the needs of two or more doctors that are part of the same practice, though.

Tip #2: Check out referrals

Getting referrals from friends and family is wonderful, but often their doctors aren't part of your insurance network. A better option for referrals is from coworkers that share the same provider list. Failing this, use an online ranking service, such as Health Grades or similar, to find out what other patients are saying.

Tip #3: Consider logistics

The best doctor in the world can't help you if you never see them. A family doctor should be convenient. This means you want to make sure the office isn't too far from your home. It also needs to be open hours that you can utilize. If the office hours mirror your work hours, for example, you may never be able to make an appointment.

Tip #4: Verify the hospital network

Most doctors, even private practitioners, belong to a hospital or health network. This provides seamless integration of records between your doctor and any hospitals, urgent care facilities, or emergency rooms within the hospital network. Make sure the hospital network is also part of your insurance network and that there are facilities convenient for your use.

Tip #5: Look into extras

If you are still having trouble deciding, check out the extras provided. One doctor may provide a 24-hour nurse line or drop in hours. Another may have a fully integrated website that provides help with managing your health. These little extras can help make your decision easier.