Do I Need a Primary Care Doctor?

Most healthcare plans will require all clients have a primary doctor. Even if your healthcare plan doesn’t require it, it is still ideal to have a doctor that knows your medical history. Having a primary care doctor means you are more likely to receive a faster diagnosis since they have a good knowledge of your health and lifestyle. Primary care doctors treat their patients for routine illnesses, regular check-ups and screenings. They also will provide you with any referrals to specialists if needed. 

When choosing a primary care provide for your family, you should familiarize yourself with the various types of doctors available. This includes:

• Family Doctor or General practitioner is a physician that treats patients of all ages.
• Gynecologist and Obstetricians specializes in women’s health, pregnancy and childbirth.
• Pediatricians provide health care for babies, toddlers, children, infants and adolescents.
• Geriatricians focus on the health care of senior citizens and older adults.

Finding a Primary Care Doctor

There are many ways to go about finding a primary care doctor. One of the most common methods is to ask family and friends for their recommendations. You may even find a doctor with urgent care patient referrals for physicians. If all else fails, open up your local phonebook or search the internet for doctors in your area. Keep in mind, however, that you should just pick any random doctor’s office for your primary care physician. Instead, you should take the necessary time to thoroughly research your options. Ask yourself the following questions before choosing your doctor:

• Is the doctor in your network? If you choose a doctor that is not included in your health insurance network, you will end up paying more for your medical costs. That is why it is important to obtain a list of doctors in your area that are also a part of your network.
• Does the doctor have the proper education, certification and performance history? There are various websites which allow you to find out this information about your local doctors. You may also be able to locate reviews that former and current patients have wrote.
• What are the doctor’s policies on cancellations, payment, insurance claims and after hour care? You can find this information out by contacting their office.

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