Written By Andre Nye, MD – When trying to find a new primary care doctor, it is common to have a little anxiety. This is the only professional relationship in which you not only have to tell someone your medical problems, but you may also have to confess your intimate secrets and reveal your darkest fears. In fact, you may be told things you really don’t want to hear and asked to do things you really don’t want to do. If that’s not enough, you are required at times to take your clothes off. As a board-certified family physician for over 25 years, I myself don’t really like to do this when I go to my doctor. However, I do it because I care about my health and because I trust my family doctor.
Best Way to Find A New Primary Care Doctor
How to Choose a Doctor
When you are looking for a new primary care doctor, how do you find someone that you can trust? In my practice, I have found that patients frequently establish care with me because of a referral by one of their friends. Being referred by a friend is one of the best ways to find a physician. That is because you can ask your friend about their firsthand experiences with the doctor. Friends can provide you with a unique insight that is invaluable when deciding to make that first appointment. However, referrals are not the only way to choose a new primary care doctor. In fact, many others use Facebook and Google reviews. Although all insights are helpful, a review is best coming from someone you can trust, usually a friend.
Making an Appointment With A New Doctor
Your true assessment starts when you decide to make an appointment and enter the office. How easy was it to make an appointment? Did someone pick up the phone immediately and address you in a warm and courteous manner? Could you be seen at a time that worked for you?
If your admission into a doctor’s office is efficient and friendly, you can bet that your experience with the clinician is going to be the same. If the appearance of the office is clean, professional, and courteous, your experience with the Doctor is likely to be the same. When you met the Doctor, were they welcoming and kind? Did they sit down and listen? Did they give you all the time you needed? My favorite ending to a visit is, “ Is there anything else you want to discuss?”
When it comes to your medical care, you want a doctor who is willing to listen and explore treatment alternatives to medication before reaching for the prescription pad. Many times a problem can be fixed without medicine and your doctor can explain why.
What Makes A Doctor Good?
A good doctor will follow up on your labs and radiology studies. They will keep you updated and advise you in a timely fashion on what needs attention and what is ok.
A quality primary care doctor should be interested in what is going to keep you healthy. They may speak to you about screening tests such as a Pap smear, mammogram, or colonoscopy. They may talk to you about diet, exercise and give ideas on how to improve your health. A new primary care doctor will also be concerned about your mood and ask you questions about this.
The best primary care doctors will spend time talking to you about your family, your job, your children and will be engaged and attentive to any problems that are ongoing. As doctors, we worry about these things because they can impact your overall health. If you have a family crisis or you are working too hard at your job, you may not be taking the best care of your overall health. A good doctor will remind you that you should try to put your health first.
Additional Resource: What is a family doctor?
Ultimately your primary care doctor should be engaged, empathic, attentive, accurate, and provide you with the best disease prevention that modern medicine has to offer. If your primary care doctor does this, you have the right person taking care of your overall health.
Prime MD of Naples
Our primary care physicians in Naples have years of experience and are comfortable with all aspects of medicine. If an expert opinion is required, our Naples primary care doctors will refer you to a trusted specialist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.