Primary care physicians help you make healthier life choices, keep track of your health history, identify serious health problems in early stages through regular screenings, and provide an invaluable resource to other doctors in the event of an emergency.
But while you may have your mind set on getting a primary care provider, choosing one may be a little less clear to you. Here are some tips for choosing the doctor that’s right for you.
Find out which doctors are included in your health plan network. This will give you a list of physicians that provide the most affordable options, and is a good starting point for choosing a primary care doctor.
Another good starting point is by asking for referrals from people that you know and trust. Maybe you value the opinion of a friend, or your dentist, or optometrist, and would like to know which doctors they recommend. This can be a good way to make a shortlist of primary care providers.
At MANA, our Find a Doctor tools let you see information about the qualifications and background of our physicians. If you particularly want a board-certified family practitioner or a doctor who has had experience with the health issues you’re concerned about, you can identify the doctors who fit your needs.
Know also that MANA doctors have access to the full network of resources in the MANA community. This can also be a factor in choosing your primary care physician.
You may also want to consider convenience when choosing a primary care doctor. This shouldn’t be the deciding factor, but it is something to think about. The proximity of the doctor to your home, your work, or your child’s school may be important to you. MANA offers a range of online patient tools making it incredibly easy and convenient to contact your physician, schedule appointments, pay bills, fill out forms, etc.
Meet with different doctors before making your decision. You know what they say: you can’t choose your parents but you can choose your primary care provider. People probably don’t say that, but it is true. You don’t have to stick with the first doctor that you visit.
You’re primary care provider will be with you for a long time, and you want to be sure that you feel comfortable with that doctor. Go into a doctor’s office with expectations, and make sure that the doctor, the nurses, the receptionist, and everything in between met or exceeded your expectations.