Find the Right Doctor
Posted on Sep 16, 2013 | 2 comments
Like many of us, you probably wait to find a doctor until you’re sick. But being proactive before you need a doctor can make a big difference in your health. So it’s worth taking the time to find the right doctor for you.
“A primary care doctor is the person you can always turn to if you have any concerns about your health,” says Kenneth S. Lin, M.D., internist and pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “He or she will help you coordinate any care you may need.”
To find a doctor who meets your needs, follow these tips from Dr. Lin.
Location matters. Look for a doctor close to your home or work so it’s easy to fit appointments into your regular schedule.
Choose who makes you most comfortable. Consider whether you are more comfortable with a male or female doctor, and if you have any specific language requirements.
Ask your friends. Friends, co-workers and family members can provide helpful recommendations.
Learn more online. PAMF offers detailed doctor profiles online. Visit individual profiles to learn if a doctor has particular expertise in health issues that might affect you, such as asthma or diabetes. You may also discover a common bond through hobbies, languages or interests.
Check access. Find out how easy it is to get an appointment with a doctor. Make sure the office hours suit your schedule and learn how after hours calls and lab tests are handled.
Look for electronic health records. Ask if a doctor uses electronic health records, which make it easier for you to email your doctor with questions, make and request appointments, refill prescriptions and view test results.
Be sure to check your health insurance. Avoid unnecessary out-of-pocket health care expenses by asking if a doctor accepts your health insurance.
Take the time to find the right fit. The best doctor for you is the one who matches your personality and communication style. Rather than wait until you have an acute health issue, schedule a preventive check-up to get to know your doctor.
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