Your family doctor is important because he/she is the doctor who cares for your entire family. They will establish a close relationship with your family over the course of your lives to help you diagnose and treat conditions affecting your family.
How can a family doctor improve my family’s health?
Everybody should have a family doctor they go to for annual check-ups, even if there are no current medical issues. Prevention is a much more effective method than reversal when it comes to disease or illness. Your family doctor will assist with this.
Family doctors treat a number of areas, including…
- Infant care
- Elderly care
- Chronic conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Ear, nose, throat
- Mental and behavioral health
- Bone and joint
- X-rays and other basic testing
- Emergency medical care
- Minor surgeries
There are many ways to begin your search for a family doctor. One of the most reliable ways would be to ask trusted friends and family. Recommendations you trust about positive care should make you feel more at ease.
Once you have received some recommendations you feel confident in, call the office and ask…
- Are new patients currently being accepted?
- Is your insurance accepted?
- What hours are they open?
- Do they have on-call hours?
- How long does it take on average to get an appointment with the doctor?
- Which hospital does the doctor work with?
- Are labs and imaging tests performed in the office? If not, is the referral office accepting of your insurance?
Once you have found a doctor that satisfies your needs, begin by scheduling an appointment for consultation. After you have talked to the doctor, ask yourself some more questions…
- How easy would the office be to get to from your home, work, or other common destinations?
- Was the staff helpful and friendly, and was the check-in process handled well?
- Were all of your questions answered fully and with an answer you are comfortable with?
- Did your doctor show interest in understanding your needs?
- Will your doctor be able to care for your family’s needs?
While these are questions that are important to keep in mind, also remember that establishing a relationship with your doctor will take time. Determine what is important to you and your family, explore all of your options, and before you know it you will have the family doctor that is right for you.