Finding a primary care physician is possible through a variety of different channels including through a health insurance plan, personal referrals or a referral from a current physician. Consumers may also contact a hospital directly, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Sometimes a health insurance plan dictates which primary care physicians are available based on who is in the patient's network on the particular health plan, explains U.S. News & World Report. Usually patients in a health maintenance organization, or HMO, have less ability to choose who they want as a doctor. With a preferred provider organization or PPO, there is much more freedom of choice. For example, individuals can often keep their own doctor. With private insurance, individuals must check with the company to see who it accepts as a primary care physician.
People you know or even your current doctor may be willing to give referrals if you are not happy with your current physician or if your current doctor is retiring. In the latter case, the retiring doctor forwards medical records to the doctor of your choice. Women doctors are usually better at suggesting preventive screening, according to U.S. News & World Report, something for potential patients to consider. Consumers may also call a hospital to ask if a primary care physician is accepting new patients.