Finding the right doctor to entrust yourself to can seem like a difficult task, especially if you’ve never had to worry about it before, whether because you were under a family plan, or had a physician assigned to you. You can’t simply opt for the first medical professional that comes your way. Just like with any profession, doctors can have different skill levels and areas of expertise.
When it comes to your primary care physician, they will be your first point of contact for any non-emergency medical issue and regular screenings, making this relationship a particularly important one for your personal healthcare management.
You also need to consider implications other than the doctor’s or clinic’s reputation in the field. There is the matter of your insurance plan coverage, whether you want to find a doctor just for yourself or your entire family, as well as a number of other factors. In this article, we’ll provide you with guidance and tips for making the best choice for your particular needs.
Check our Primary Care services
Look for “In-Network” Doctors
If you don’t want to overpay for your medical checks and treatments, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not your potential primary care physician’s services are covered by the insurance plan you’re currently on. This will allow you to avoid any lofty and unexpected out-of-pocket costs that can quickly drain your bank account, especially if you frequently go to the doctor.
Depending on your insurance plan, you might be allowed to work with an out-of-network doctor and still receive partial coverage, but you need to be aware that going down this route could mean higher co-pays and potentially even larger monthly premiums. Seeing as healthcare costs are one of the leading obstacles in accessing quality services, double-check with your insurer in order to get a full picture of the extent of coverage with any particular primary care physician.
Ease of access is one of the most important things when figuring out how to choose a primary care physician. We recommend that you prioritize choosing in-network medical professionals who are as close to your home as possible. That way, you’ll be able to easily make the trip to the doctor’s office whenever the need arises.
Many serious health conditions are completely curable or easily treatable, if detected early on. Deciding to get yourself checked by your primary care doctor is easier if their clinic is just a short drive away. People tend to put off these kinds of visits if they have to drive across their county just to reach their physician, especially if the symptoms are not bad enough to interrupt their daily routines.
If you live in the Orlando, FL area, we highly recommend you check out Chau Medical Group and our wide array of services. We accept a number of popular insurance plans, including Blue Care and United Healthcare.
Recommendations from work colleagues, family members, and friends can go a long way in narrowing down your search for a primary care physician. Reach out to the people in your circle of acquaintances to see whether or not they know a doctor they can refer you to.
Another good idea is to directly reach out to other medical professionals – chances are that they have a wide network of contacts in the field, including primary care physicians. If you’re changing doctors because you’re moving to another state or county, it might be worth asking your current physician for a recommendation.
Consider the Facilities
This is one thing that many people tend to overlook when wondering how to choose a primary care physician that best suits their particular needs. Many primary care physicians’ offices or clinics are not equipped to carry out some of the tests and screenings you may need.
In these cases, your doctor will refer you to a nearby hospital or affiliated clinic to go through with the procedures. Depending on the extent of your insurance coverage, this may lead to extra out-of-pocket costs you might not be prepared for, not to mention the need to commute to receive these services off-site.
Try to choose a primary care physician whose clinic can accommodate your needs, at least in terms of basic health screenings. At Chau Medical, we provide a wide array of on-site services, including blood tests, EKG, and body-fat analysis. We also administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Find a Primary Care Physician Who Will Best Respond to Your Needs
Finding doctors that suit your insurance plan is very important, but you also need to consider your own health needs, as well as the extent of care you’re looking for. If you need a point of primary care for your entire family, including children and elderly dependents, you should seek out a family practice physician that can treat people from different age groups and have a general understanding of most common health conditions.
If you struggle with a chronic condition or just need a doctor for yourself or adult dependents, your best bet would be to reach out to an in-network internal medicine specialist who can take care of the diagnosis, prevention, and management of diseases and conditions that typically affect adults.
Visit a Few Candidates Before You Make a Decision
It is generally always a good idea to try out a few services or products before settling on buying or subscribing to one of them. Healthcare professionals are no different in this regard. Choosing a primary care physician is not something you should rush into, and having a few conversations with different specialists before deciding on one of them will help you make the most informed choice.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a primary care physician that will be your first point of contact for medical screenings for the years to come can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the tips we’ve outlined above, the process can become relatively straightforward, even if you still need to put a lot of time and effort into making the right decision.
At Chau Medical Group, we proudly serve Orlando residents as primary care professionals. If you live in the area, don’t hesitate to give us a call, introduce yourself, and give us a shot by booking your first appointment!