The family physician plays an essential role in addressing the primary care health needs of parents, children, and other family members within the same household. What are some of the must-have qualities to look for in a family physician?
Expertise Relevant To Your Needs
A good family doctor has a broad base of medical knowledge that spans the gamut of age groups, common conditions, and genders. Certain physicians (such as Family Medicine doctors and Internal Medicine doctors) are commonly designated as family physicians, given their comprehensive training across multiple organ systems, age groups, etc. Be sure to check with your doctor to see if they are an appropriate fit. If you have a family with parents in their forties, and children across multiple age groups (toddlers, teens), it’s essential for the doctor to have frequent experience working with patients of all ages. In certain cases, if a family shares a number of characteristics (say they all have diabetes, or they all have chronic heart conditions), it may be feasible to have a specialist serve as the PCP. This may be the case for certain fields (such as cardiology), but it’s certainly worth conferring with the physician of interest, your insurance company, and others before finalizing a decision.
Targeting The Little Things
Do you have family members who use a language other than English as their primary means of communication? Are you looking for a physician who excels at explaining diagnoses and treatment options in understandable terms? Check out relevant reviews to learn more and assess whether others have had a positive experience. These characteristics ensure you’ll feel comfortable in the office.
While these factors may not explicitly be medical in nature, they make all the difference when you attempt to reach out to the physician. This includes the ability to schedule appointments easily (e.g. Not having to wait months for an opening, flexible methods (telephone, internet, apps, etc.), and so on and so forth. Your physician may be highly qualified and adept in his or her practice. However, if you have a hard time getting a hold of them, or find out that visits in their office are exceedingly brief and rushed, then perhaps choosing a different family physician may be appropriate.
Seek out trusted, experienced professionals as you strive to settle on a great choice for a family doctor. Professionals can offer coverage for infants, the elderly, and everyone in between. The efficiency and comfort of having your family’s basic medical needs covered in one space are valuable beyond measure.