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Choosing a new doctor can be challenging, particularly for those who have recently moved or are part of a new community. Asking for recommendations can be a good starting place, but you may also want to consider your specific needs and those of your family. Here are some factors that might play a role in your decision, plus important questions to ask before you decide on a new doctor or pediatrician.
In some cases, your insurance plan may restrict your choices of approved physicians, or it may include financial incentives for you to only use doctors affiliated with your plan. Check the terms of your plan and find out what kinds of physician visits are covered and any out-of-pocket costs you might have to cover.
Type of Physician and Qualifications
In most cases, your insurance plan will require you to choose a primary health care provider, or a doctor who manages your overall care and can make referrals to specialists when it’s required. If you have chronic or disabling conditions, you may also need a specialist who understands this condition and your needs.
You may also want to verify board certifications, which most physicians in the US have. Primary care physicians are board certified in family medicine or internal medicine, while specialists will have completed residency training in a specific field and have passed a competency exam for their specialty.
To find out if a doctor is in good standing with state licenses, you can visit the site Administrators In Medicine.
Questions to Ask
The questions you ask of a potential doctor should be based on your medical needs and priorities. Here are some examples of good questions to ask:
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, call the doctor’s office. His or her staff can help you understand how the office operates and what you can expect.
Questions to Ask Your Child’s Doctor
Care for your child is another area that requires careful choice. Here are several questions you can ask a potential doctor before making your choice:
My profession allows me to interact with people on a level that few other jobs would. The number one way to provide safe, effective healthcare is to educate patients and make sure I listen to and understand their story and what they want to get out of their healthcare.
“How to Choose a Doctor.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/how-to-choose-a-doctor#1
“Questions to Ask a Pediatrician Before Choosing One.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/pick-pediatrician-16/pick-pediatrician-dr-questions
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.