Choose a primary care doctor by looking for a practitioner who meets your specific health needs, checking with friends for referrals, and visiting with the doctor at his office. Selecting a doctor that the insurance company considers an in-network provider and with an office close to your home makes visits more affordable and easier to access, according to BlueCross BlueShield.
Doctors in family practice treat patients of all ages while pediatricians care for children and teens. General practitioners include osteopaths and medical doctors. Internists treat adults but focus on chronic diseases, reports BlueCross BlueShield.
A referral from a trusted friend or family member can help you find a doctor who is a good fit. Since patients work closely with their primary care providers, find one with whom you work well. Other sources of referrals include other practitioners, pharmacists or a dentist, according to BlueCross BlueShield. When moving to a new city, your current care provider may have a referral for that location.
Once you narrow the options, schedule an appointment with the potential new doctor. Take the time to discuss any health concerns and ongoing medication. Make sure that the doctor and you are in agreement as to the treatment of any chronic health conditions. Use this interview for a new health care provider as an opportunity to observe the doctor, facilities and staff, advises BlueCross BlueShield.