Six Questions to Ask When Looking for a Family Doctor
Your relationship with your doctor isn’t top of mind every day, but if you’re sick or struggling with a chronic illness, it’s vital to have a family doctor you trust. Medical skills and training, personality, and communication styles are all factors that make the difference between a confident and comfortable relationship with your doctor and a feeling that your medical provider is just passable.
Finding a Doctor That’s a Good Fit
A family doctor can serve as home base for all your medical needs, treating and managing both acute and chronic medical problems and referring you to specialists if needed. Since they serve as the main manager for your health, it’s important to find a doctor who is a good fit. If you’re looking for a family doctor, ask these six key questions to find the best doctor for you.
1. Is the doctor in your insurance network?
Check your insurance website or call the company to make sure the doctor is listed in your provider network. It’s also a good idea to ask the doctor’s office if they participate with your insurance plan.
2. Can I communicate easily with this physician?
Use your first visit as a test to see how well you can communicate with the physician. Does he or she listen to you and fully answer your questions? Do you feel like the doctor explains any diagnosis or recommendations well?
3. Do the staff members seem friendly and efficient?
Notice how office staff members answer the phone and handle scheduling of appointments. Are you on hold for a lengthy period of time? Are staff members friendly on the phone and in person?
4. What are office policies around appointments and follow-up phone calls?
How long does it take to schedule an appointment? Does the office offer same-day appointments? What is the procedure if you need to call with a question or talk to a nurse? How quickly will they respond to messages?
5. Is the doctor board certified?
Board certification means the doctor earned his or her medical degree from a qualified school, completed accredited residency training, and passed exams through the American Board of Medical Specialities. To maintain certification, a doctor is expected to participate in continuing education.
6. Is the doctor affiliated with a specific hospital?
If you would need to be admitted to the hospital, your doctor would typically send you to the hospital where they have an affiliation as an approved medical staff member. Do you feel confident the hospital would provide the care you needed? If you are younger and in relatively good health, this may not be an issue. However, if you are older or have a chronic health problem, hospital affiliation may be more important.
Meet the Family Doctors at LeBauer
Board-certified family practice doctors as well as certified nurse practitioners with LeBauer HealthCare offer personalized, professional treatment and care at six locations in the Triad. Learn more about about our primary care team or schedule an appointment with one of our providers by calling the office listed on his or her bio page.