Choosing the right physician is a very important decision. Today, most people have primary care physicians who serve most of their needs and can refer them to specialists when necessary. Your primary care physician generally include: family practitioner, internist, pediatrician, obstetrician and gynecologist.
But, the most important question is how to select the family physician, and whether the primary care physician suggested you to the right specialists. Here are few tips to consider while selecting a physician.
- Ask your friends and relatives for suggestions. If you are moving and changing physicians, ask your current physician if you he or she can refer you to someone in your new community.
- You can check with your area hospital. Many of them offer referral service.
- You can also check with your county medical society. They will suggest you the names of several physicians.
- Ask your health maintenance organizations, insurance company or managed care plans if they have a panel of physicians from which you should select.
- Make sure the doctor practices relatively close to where you live and holds admitting privileges at a hospital near you.
- If you have an interest in alternative healing therapies in combination with western medicine, find out your potential doctor’s opinion and willingness to work with other healers.
- Make sure that your doctor is willing to talk and explain in a way that you understand. This will help you in making clear decisions.
To find out whether the physician is licensed or registered, you can check with the state education department. The State Education Department can also tell you where a physician attended medical school.