So, you’ve moved to a new place and need a new primary health care provider. You have a list in front of you: doctors in your network that take your insurance.

How do You Narrow it Down?

Choosing the right healthcare provider can be an important decision for your overall health. Before you make the choice, be sure to ask yourself the right questions:

 

Which Type of Provider is Right for Me?

When you’re looking for a primary health care provider, you can typically choose between several types, including Family Practice, Internal Medicine, General Practice, and Pediatricians.

  • Family Practice Physicians are trained to treat the entire family, from OB/GYN to the elderly. They can treat a variety of conditions and illnesses.
  • Internal Medicine Physicians are trained to treat adults only. This means they can handle a broad spectrum of illnesses and conditions that affect adults.
  • General Practice Physicians are similar to Family Practice Physicians in that they can treat any patient of any gender or age. They don’t specialize in one particular area, but rather are a source of routine health care and can treat many conditions.
  • Pediatricians are specially trained to treat children at every stage of development, from babies to young adults.

Once you’ve decided which type of doctor you’d like to see, you may then ask:

 

How do I Choose the Right Doctor?

You may have a list of doctors with no meaning attached to it. It can be helpful to reach out to trustworthy friends or coworkers for personal referrals who can recommend primary care physicians.

You can also ask your previous doctor for a referral in your new neighborhood or town. Some hospitals even have referral services that can help you choose a doctor that fits your desired criteria.

Keep in mind that your doctor will need to be accepting new patients. It may also be important to know where your doctor was educated and trained and who fills in for them when they are not available.

Another consideration may be location. Is it important that your doctor is close to your home? Your office? Your child’s school? Are they open the days and times that work for you?

Once you have found a doctor you think you may like, the only way to know is to go in for a visit. Talk to your new doctor about your pre-existing conditions, medical history, and medication. A face-to-face meeting can ensure you feel comfortable, confident and trust the physician you have selected to help manage your health.