FindPCP

How to find your perfect primary care provider in 4 steps

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The Primary Care Provider Series: Post 3 of 3

It is important to find a provider that fits your health needs and your own health philosophy. In this third post of the Primary Care Provider Series, you will find four steps to finding the perfect primary care provider for you.

Now that you know the importance of primary care, and the difference between primary care philosophies, follow these 4 steps:

Step 1:

Reflect.

Ask yourself the following questions:
Which health philosophy speaks most strongly to my own philosophy health?
Check out my post on primary care philosophies. Take a minute to reflect on the philosophy that aligns most with your needs.

What types of training do I want to see my provider have?
Check out the post on types of primary care providers. It explains the training that some providers go through. Select the training that fits your needs.

When I read about the provider online, what keywords do I want to see in his/her bio?
For example, do you want a physician with an interest in exercise? Nutrition? Volunteering? Preventive health?

How close to I want my primary care provider’s office to be to my home or work place?
If you have a medical issue that requires multiple visits, it might be important to live close to your medical provider’s clinic. However, you might be more inclined to travel to the right provider for you.

Step 2:

Research.

Figure out the answers to the following questions:

What are my top 5 priorities for my own primary care?
List these in a chart form so that as you are researching primary care providers in your area, can rank or rate or check off whether provider has these particular attributes.

Does my health insurance cover this provider’s care?
Many insurance companies have online portals where you can list the primary care physician that you are researching. Sometimes, it works well to start with these websites because they can help you narrow down a list of providers.

Step 3:

Review.

Set up a consultation with the primary care provider who is top on your list. Have a list of questions ready about his or her background, philosophy, and approach. An in-person visit to the office will help you decide on whether the provider is right for you.

Step 4:

Recommend

Once you have found a primary care provider that works for you, tell your network! Good providers need your voice to get the word out about their philosophy and approach. Some ways you can publicly recommended physician include writing a review on the following websites:

Yelp

HealthGrades

RateMDs

Vitals

Sometimes spreading the word by simply telling your friends can make the difference.

What challenges have you experienced in searching for a primary care provider?

© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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