Do you have a primary care doctor? One of the top reasons that people don't go to the doctor on a regular basis is because they don't have one. Decades ago everyone in a community went to the local family doctor, but these days there are dozens if not more choices in most cities and the younger generation grow up without any allegiance. This results in adults in their 30s who don't have an actual family practitioner. However, it is never too late to start looking for a family practice in Conroe, TX. Preventative care can improve your health and lifespan, and is the single best thing you can do for your health. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a new family doctor.
Ask Your Friends and Family Members
One of the best ways to start your search for a new doctor is by asking your friends and family members who they go too. While you need to keep in mind that everyone has different criteria that define a good experience, this can give you a good list of doctors to start with. Make sure to ask about the office staff too, because sometimes a doctor can be excellent but the office can be difficult to deal with, making visits very frustrating.
Look at Your Insurance
Now that you have a list of potential candidates, you need to take a look at your insurance coverage. Most insurance companies offer you a “find a provider tool” online that will allow you to see if the doctor is in-network with your plan. You need to make sure that your general practitioner is in-network since you will be seeing them on a semi-frequent basis. In addition, they will most likely refer to specialists in their network which can get expensive quickly if everyone is out of network.
Get Online and Check-Out Credentials
Most people don't hire a tradesman to come to their home until they have vetted them online and checked out the reviews, so don't see a doctor until you have done at least the same amount of work. Now that you can access so much information online it is easy to vet a doctor before your visit. Your insurance company may offer quality ratings and the American Board of Medical Specialists offers a certification site that allows you to see if a doctor is properly board-certified. There are also many independent websites where you can find reviews of healthcare providers, so take advantage of the information you can find.
Schedule an In-Person Meeting
The best way to determine if a practice is a good fit for you is by paying them a visit. Go ahead and schedule a visit to establish care. Not only is this covered, but it gives you the chance to see how the office handles your scheduling. Is the office staff pleasant and easy to work with? Then during your visit assess if you feel comfortable and welcome. Also, pay attention to how easy it is to schedule appointments or handle any refills on prescriptions. If you don't enjoy the visit, there is nothing binding you to that doctor. It is acceptable to continue looking for a physician that you feel comfortable with.