Six Tips for Choosing a Primary Care Doctor Who's Right for You - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on September 29, 2014

Looking for a New Doctor? Six Tips for Making a Great Choice

If you spend more time researching where to get your hair cut than choosing a primary care physician, it's time to rethink your strategy!

Picking the right doctor could very well be one of the most important decisions you make. Let’s face it: someday your doctor may provide the care you need to actually save your life.

Here are six things to consider to help you find the right match:

  1. Is the Doctor in Your Health Plan?
    This is a quick and easy place to start, but just don’t go up and down the list and pick a name you like. Take these additional tips into consideration:
  2. Medical Expertise
    Where did they go to medical school and do their internship? Are they board certified or board eligible? Find the doctor online and check out his/her profile to learn more about their medical and personal interests.
  3. Personal Fit
    Do you prefer someone older or younger? A male or female? Someone who is interested in wellness or perhaps complementary medicine? Someone you can be honest with and confide in? Talk to your friends and family about their doctor and ask for recommendations.
  4. Communication Skills
    It’s important to find a doctor who speaks plainly and uses words you understand - who encourages questions and spends time with you to ensure you understand any conditions you have and what you can do together to be as healthy as possible.
  5. Office Location & Hours
    Do you prefer a physician who is close to where you live or work? Do they offer convenient office hours like early mornings, evenings and/or weekends? How long does it take to get an appointment – especially when you’re sick and need to see someone right away? What hospitals are they affiliated with?
  6. What If I Don’t Like The Doctor?
    After your first visit, you’ll know if you've found a good match. If for whatever reason you’re not happy, it’s your choice! So keep looking until you find someone you’re comfortable with.

Get more tips on choosing the right primary care physician for you and your family, and visit our Find a Physician directory to search for doctors now.

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Looking for a New Doctor? Six Tips for Making a Great Choice