Tips to Finding the Right General Practitioner

If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, make sure to find the right person to support you on that path.

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October 11, 2019
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Your primary care provider is one of many medical choices that you will have to consider in your life. After all, a general practitioner or family doctor is your first contact for almost any health issue that you will have. If there is an emergency, you will be asked for the information of your primary care physician.

Despite the fact that there’s a shortage of talent in the primary care sector, family physicians are just as important now as they ever have been. You will need someone to examine your condition before it gets worse.

It’s for this reason that primary care reduces your risk of death by a significant amount, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

It all depends on how well you choose a medical professional to be your family physician.

If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, make sure to find the right person to support you on that path.

1. Do an online search

This is obviously the most basic way to search for a family doctor. Just key in the words “doctor near me” and you’ll instantly get results for practitioners who are working near where you are. Doing your research online can lead you to someone who might as well become a lifelong partner for monitoring your health. To be more specific, you might want to add your location. Finding a GP in London, for instance, would be easy if you’re able to make use of search engines and location apps such as Google Maps.

2. Ask family and friends

Although you can always rely on reviews from other people, there’s still no way to make sure that a certain doctor or clinic is the right one for you. If you want someone who’s legitimate and with the experience to boot, you can always ask around for recommendations. If you know someone who is a past or current client for a GP you’re eyeing, you can ask about the quality of care they provide. When you personally know the person making the recommendation, it makes it much easier to trust it.

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3. Check out their websites

There’s no doubt that technology has improved doctor-patient relationships in a lot of ways. Most clinics have websites that people can access for information about consultation hours and other details. Practitioners could say a lot about what they do and display their credentials so you could get a good idea of their capacity to help you with your medical needs. You might also check out testimonials and reviews which are often displayed in these websites.

4. Talk with the receptionist

Most primary care clinics have so many patients and cases to handle that they often rely on in-house receptionists who can help with organizing schedules and arranging consultations with the GP. You know a clinic is a great choice if the people manning the reception area are accommodating. Friendliness goes a long way, so make sure to scrutinize a clinic based on how its staff members treat you.

5. Get covered

When it comes to finding the right general practitioner to handle your needs, you might have to get insurance coverage first. Once you’ve already decided on the insurance plan that fits your needs, you can look for a medical professional who is accredited by your insurance provider. This is important as you might want to avoid getting a doctor who works outside your insurance provider’s network. To be sure, call your insurance provider or, better yet, request for a list of accredited primary care clinics.

6. Assess accessibility

Primary care doctors are all about diagnosing symptoms that could lead to potentially life-threatening cases. Having said that, you might as well determine if the GP you’ve shortlisted is readily accessible at anytime. This would mean knowing how far you will have to travel from your place to the clinic. You might also want to know if the doctor requires you to request for an appointment or allows you to walk-in. Knowing these details should narrow down your choices to a doctor who could be available anytime.

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7. Check for credentials

Finally, the most important thing to consider when finding the right GP for your needs involves knowing if they are a part of a larger association of practitioners. As much as possible, you will have to check with the right government bodies or credentials verification organizations they currently regulate the medical profession in the United States. The American Board of Medical Specialties, for instance, maintains a database of accredited practitioners. Being able to access this resource helps you find the right person to approach in case of family emergencies. Plus, it saves you the trouble of asking a doctor if they’re legit!

A primary care doctor will become your best defense against diseases that could grow worse overtime. Finding the right practitioner, in this sense, helps you detect potentially lethal conditions. Other than that, it also helps you lead a more fulfilling and healthier life.