Like any good relationship, your relationship with your healthcare provider should be built on trust. Yet, it’s easier said than done.
Having a trusted relationship with your healthcare provider benefits both of you. The better your provider knows you, the better they can treat you and help you reach your health goals. The more comfortable you feel with your provider, the more likely you are to feel confident discussing uncomfortable topics or advocating for yourself.
If you’re looking for a primary care provider, here are a few tips when beginning your search.
1) Determine which doctors are in-network
Health insurance is one of the first components you want to consider when selecting a healthcare provider. Choosing an in-network provider helps lower the costs of your care.
Don’t have health insurance? Here are a few options for getting free or low-cost health screenings and care if you don’t have insurance.
2) Find a doctor with expertise that meets your health needs
Most insurance and hospital websites include a brief biography for each healthcare provider. Narrow your search by filtering results by certain focuses or specializations. This helps ensure the doctor you choose will be well-versed in your specific healthcare needs.
3) Ask for referrals
Word-of-mouth is still the best advertising. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, and friends in the community if they see a healthcare provider they love. Chances are, if your inner circle raves about someone, you’ll like them too.
4) Think about logistics and language
Consider the location, access to public transit or parking, and primary language spoken by any provider you choose. You’re more likely to see your healthcare provider regularly if there are no inconveniences or additional barriers.
5) Visit the doctor
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of providers to one or two options, call their office to see if you can schedule a meet-and-greet or wellness visit. Meeting them in person will help you determine if they’re the best fit for you.
You are the boss of your own body
At the end of the day, you’re the boss of your own body. If you don’t feel heard by your provider or that they’re helping you reach your health goals, find a new one. Keep advocating for your health.