When you’re looking for a new physician, it can be hard to know what criteria to use. So here are 5 questions to ask before finding a new GP or general practitioner.
What Preferences Do I Have?
Any GP should provide standard care like vaccinations, wound care and medical prescriptions. They may also provide family planning advice and do physical exams. In this case, women may prefer a female physician while men may prefer a male one. If you have such a preference, find out if the medical practice has a male or female doctor accepting patients. If English isn’t your native language, you may want to find a doctor who speaks your language instead of relying on an interpreter. If you’re going to use a GP for the whole family, are they good with kids? And are they willing to take children?
What Preferences Do I Have with Regard to Care?
Some people want a doctor who provides holistic care. This type of doctor will discuss lifestyle changes in addition to or in place of giving you prescriptions to medication. If you’re diabetic, they may discuss lifestyle changes and dietary shifts instead of simply prescribing medication. If you have religious or ethical belief systems that affect your care, your doctor should either share them or be able to accommodate them.
Does Their Medical Practice Fit My Needs?
A doctor working solo may be a constant, familiar face, but this can cause problems when they’re on vacation or choose to retire. You may want to work with a medical practice with two or more doctors so there’s always someone there. If you want to be able to visit the doctor on evenings or weekends for the sake of convenience, you’ll want a medical practice open during these hours. Does the doctor you’re considering accept patients on your day off? If there are hospitals you prefer over others, does the doctor have the ability to admit you to those facilities?
Who Accepts My Health Insurance?
Doctors who accept health insurance can see you on your schedule, which is obviously very convenient. It can also dramatically improve your quality of life, since you aren’t waiting days or weeks for an appointment. The key here is finding health insurance that is widely accepted by doctors in your area. Compare health insurance policies with iSelect.
What Are My Logistical Concerns?
Logistics make a big difference. For example, if you’re disabled, a doctor’s office that is hard to reach by handicap accessible public transit or lacks adequate access itself is an impediment to care. In every case, a doctor that’s a long drive from home or work will result in you being less likely to visit and wasting more time when injured or sick. Ask how far you’re willing to travel to see a doctor before you commit to one. Also research the traffic and parking around the doctor’s office.