Finding the right primary care doctor for you can be a little overwhelming. What’s a primary care doctor? A primary care doctor is your “regular doctor.” This is the doctor you see on a regular basis for check-ups, exams, and when you’re feeling sick.
Your primary care doctor will:
>>> Refer you to a specialist if you have an HMO plan
>>> Know your full health history
>>> Create continuous health plans
With the many options out there, there’s a lot to consider when making your choice. Here are 4 things to think about when finding a new primary care doctor
1. Asking your friends and family for recommendations, or checking out the doctor’s reviews.
Most of your close friends and family may already have a primary care doctor that they love and trust. This is a great place to start your search, but make sure to ask why they like their doctor so much. Why? Maybe your best friend chose her primary care doctor because she prefers an authoritative figure who pushes her to stay healthy. This primary care doctor may not be the right fit for you if you are looking for someone who is patient in your goal to shed some pounds.
If you are using Yelp or other search sites to find a local doctor, take a look at other patients’ reviews. While you shouldn’t rely on a stranger’s opinion of a doctor, you can get valuable information on things like wait times to see the primary care doctor, or if the office staff is rude and unhelpful.
2. Make sure they take your insurance.
Spending money out of your pocket for a visit to your primary care doctor is never fun! Depending on which health insurance plan you have and whether it’s an HMO or PPO, will determine the selection of doctors that you can choose from. By having a primary care doctor that’s “in your network,” your office visits and costs will be much cheaper, or even free for you!
We accept all PPO insurances, Medi-Cal Direct, and cash.
>>> Click here to make a general healthcare appointment
3. Are they convenient?
Choosing a primary care doctor that is convenient for you is SO important! Some things to take into consideration may be: Are they close to your home, school, or work? Are you able to schedule appointments online, or do you have to call during business hours? How far in advance do you have to make an appointment to be seen by your primary care doctor?
4. Meet with your doctor.
Having a trusting relationship with your primary care doctor is one of the most important aspects when making your choice. Your primary care doctor should listen to your health concerns and help develop treatment plans that you’re comfortable with. When you meet in person have a list of questions you want to ask ready. Some questions you can ask are:
Which hospitals are they affiliated with?
How many patients have they seen with similar conditions as you?
Does their practice use electronic records?
The perfect primary care doctor will have the perfect mix of bedside manner and expertise. You should be leaving your initial appointment with the impression that the doctor genuinely cares about your health and that they took their time answering any of your questions.
At FPA Women’s Health, we are proud to now be offering general healthcare in our Long Beach, Downtown Los Angeles, and Santa Monica locations. Our primary care doctor, Dr. Prestwich has many years of experience and treats each of his patients with care and compassion.