How Do I Choose the Right Primary Care Doctor?

Maybe you’ve just moved to a new area and need to find a new healthcare home base. Maybe you’ve changed jobs and found that your previous physician doesn’t accept your new insurance. Or, maybe you’re someone who was satisfied using urgent care clinics for sick visits and have reached a point in life where you want to go to a practice where you feel known.

There are all kinds of reasons you may be looking for a new doctor. But what’s the best way to go about it?

Ask around.
Your friends, family and coworkers in the neighborhood are ideal sources of information to help you make your decision. If they’re seeing someone they like, find out exactly what makes them continue to go back. During your conversation, go beyond the general, “She’s great!” While they may appreciate their doctor’s style and methods, ask about the ins and outs of the practice and how it is managed. A doctor can be “great” in many ways, but it’s best to find one that’s great for your life.

Know what you need.
Since you’re making a change, look at the full scope of your needs. Would you prefer to visit a practice that only sees adult patients? Choose an internal medicine physician. Would it be convenient to have a physician who can treat your children, yourself and your aging parents in the same office? Many family physicians do just that. Do you want a primary care physician who can perform minor in-office procedures, like skin biopsies? There are plenty who have special interests in certain areas and can accommodate you without having to refer you outside of the practice. These are all things to consider as you make the choice that best suits your situation.

Look at the bigger picture.
Nobody wants to think about having a serious health issue that requires specialist referral or hospital treatment. Having a doctor who is part of a trusted, highly rated network of care – one that includes world-class specialty physicians and surgeons that can seamlessly access your full medical history and information – will ease your mind when those unplanned situations arise.

Follow the tips above and you will have a primary care physician who fits your family’s needs in no time.


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