Find a doctor

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

So it’s time to find a regular doctor – someone you feel comfortable visiting every year to stay healthy. What should you be looking for in your primary care physician?

  1. Specialties/Disciplines. First, what kind of doctor should you search for?A few different disciplines are considered primary care:
  • Internists, or doctors of internal medicine offer primary care for adults.
  • Pediatrics is primary care designed for children, usually with waiting rooms and exam rooms that are more kid-friendly.
  • General practitioners or doctors of family medicine see patients of all ages – great if you want the same doctor for your kids and yourself.
  1. Location. Next, make sure the doctor is easy to reach. A doctor close to your workplace will make it easier to get checkups on your lunch break, while a doctor closer to your home will mean quicker care when you’re out sick. Consider which is more important for you.
  1. Insurance Network. Check with your insurance provider to make sure this doctor is in the network – which means it will be less expensive than visiting an out-of-network doctor.
  1. Access to a Health System. Doctors who practice as part of a larger health system offer several advantages, particularly if you will ever need a specialist or a hospital procedure (and most of us will in our lifetimes). It’s often easier to get referrals and to transfer your records when your doctor regularly deals with other branches of a comprehensive health system.
  1. Personality. Last but not least, you’ll want a doctor you feel comfortable talking to. Ask local family and friends about their doctors, or check reviews on sites like HealthGrades, RateMDs or Vitals – just remember that these are based on individual opinions rather than official standards of care. It’s also okay to make appointments with a few different doctors to find out who you feel the most comfortable with.

Now that you know what to look for, where should you start? Try our handy Find a Doctor tool to find local primary care physicians who are part of the Norman Regional Health System.