When it’s time to choose a doctor or provider that will care for all your family medicine needs, the number of options can be overwhelming. What should you look for as you’re choosing a primary care doctor? How do you know you’ve made the right choice? Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re choosing a doctor.
1. Choose someone you can trust
You’ll need a family doctor for many reasons. A primary care doctor helps you with your wellness checks and other preventative care. When you’re sick, you’ll want to see someone you trust. Your doctor is your number one advocate for your health. When it comes to finding one that you trust, look for qualities like:
- Someone who will listen to you
- Someone who will treat you with respect
- A professional, honest doctor who takes the time to get to know you and your symptoms
- A doctor who looks at the whole picture and doesn’t jump to conclusions
- Someone you feel comfortable with
A good doctor won’t make you feel like you are being herded through the process of your appointment. They’ll spend time with you, actively listen to your concerns and provide solutions that are reasonable and effective.
Think about your health needs and look for someone who might have an expertise with any conditions you might have. If they don’t, then make sure you find someone who is comfortable referring you to a specialist if you don’t already have one.
2. Choose a doctor that’s in-network
When choosing a doctor, you want to make sure that their services are covered under your health insurance. You can do this by finding a doctor you’d like to see and calling your insurance company to make sure they’re in-network.
“In-Network” means the doctor and doctor’s office has worked with your insurance company to provide a discount, or that your insurance plan will be accepted. When you go to see this doctor, you might be responsible for a co-pay and a small out-of-pocket fee depending on your plan, but it won’t be nearly as expensive as if you were paying all of your medical expenses on your own.
3. Ask your friends and family
Looking for a doctor and don’t know where to start? Ask your friends and family who they see, and consider their feelings about the doctors in your area. Word of mouth is one of the most popular ways you can find out a doctor’s reputation. Ask the people you trust who they might recommend.
4. Learn how things operate
Get a feel for how your new doctor handles care. What do appointments look like? How long is the average wait time to see your doctor?
Here are some questions you’ll want to be sure to ask the scheduler or make an appointment to ask the doctor yourself:
- How do you handle prescription refills?
- How long does it take to get test results back?
- Are there virtual visits or telehealth appointments available?
- What happens if you need care outside of normal office hours?
- Can you make same-day appointments for urgent care needs?
- What is the doctor’s schedule/are there days the doctor is not available?
- Will the office remind me of my appointment ahead of time?
Deciding on a family doctor is an important one that. Ask questions and make sure you feel comfortable with the answers.
5. Find someone close to home, who’s established in the community
When you choose a doctor near the city or town you live in, you’re more likely to show up for appointments and get the preventative care you need. The good thing about NMC Health is that our health system spans multiple counties and cities, bringing quality healthcare close to you.
At NMC Health, we have family medicine doctors in Hesston, Valley Center and Wichita. Our specialists are in a centralized location in Newton, and we also work closely with family doctors throughout the community.
We offer continuity of care, board certified doctors and experts in several physiological conditions. And if you can’t get in with your primary care doctor, we offer two Immediate Care clinics in Newton and Park City for walk-in care and same-day appointments.
At NMC Health, your health is our focus. We’re here to help you find a doctor that can grow with your family, and deliver compassionate care close to home.