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Family Medicine is complex because it encompasses such a wide range of issues. Your family doctor will need the expertise to diagnose a variety of symptoms. This means that you need to be confident in their abilities. Do plenty of research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

How to Choose a Family Doctor: Don’t Wait!

Don’t wait until you become ill to find a doctor. Feeling pressured can lead you to make an uninformed decision.  This can also result in unexpected medical bills if you choose a practice that doesn’t accept your insurance.  If you’re unsure of where to start, here are 5 tips to help you choose a family doctor:

1) Importance of In-Network

Most health plans have negotiated discounted rates with certain doctors and hospitals in your area. You will pay less out of pocket for visiting those doctors, who are considered to be in-network. Choosing a family doctor who is part of your network will help you avoid surprise co-pays and additional fees. Your insurance provider should be able to give you a list of in-network doctors near you. If not, simply ask the doctor you’d like to see if they accept your insurance, or check online. Most medical practices have information about eligibility on their website.

2) Specialized Care

When picking a doctor it’s important to think about the specific needs of your family. If any member of your family requires specialized care, make sure that someone in the family practice you choose can provide that. If not, you may need a referral to a specialist. Family care physicians can provide that, and usually have a network of trusted specialists for referrals.

3) Consider Distance

Distance is a logistic factor that’s often overlooked but very important. 20 miles may not seem like a far ride, but if you have to take time off work to get there, it can become inconvenient. Be practical when considering distance. There are big advantages to having a family doctor close by, but sometimes that’s not a possibility. In that case, schedule visits in advance during times that are convenient for you.

4) Schedule a Visit

A doctor might seem great on paper, but lack the bedside manner you’d prefer. Most doctors provide a free initial consultation that will allow you to get a feel for their personality and mannerisms without a commitment.

5) Ask for Referrals

In this day and age there are online reviews for nearly everything, and family medicine is no exception. While they shouldn’t be a deciding factor, they can definitely help give you insight into the family practice. For example, is the office staff friendly? What are wait times like? Is there specific doctor people seem to prefer overall? These are all questions that can be answers by reading reviews and recommendations.

A Good Fit For Your Family

Finding a doctor is an important decision and requires a lot of trust. Make sure you do your research and discuss options with your insurance company. You want to find a family doctor that will be long-term. This allows them to become familiar with your family and each member’s medical history and needs. This quick guide on how to choose a family doctor will get you on the right track to find the doctor that’s best for you.

For more information or help finding your family doctor, Contact Us.