How Do You Choose a Primary Care Physician?


Quick Answer

One of the best ways to choose a primary care physician is to ask for referrals from friends, family or other healthcare providers, according to MedlinePlus. It's also important to make sure your insurance covers treatment by the doctor you are considering.

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How Do You Choose a Primary Care Physician?
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Full Answer

Health insurance companies generally have a list of providers they consider "in-network," which means that they have negotiated specific rates with these providers. Most companies either do not cover or have a higher co-pay rate for services provided by out-of-network doctors, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield. Insurance companies generally provide their customers with a list of in-network providers.

It's also important to consider what kind of primary care physician you need. MedlinePlus lists family practitioners, pediatricians, internists and obstetricians/gynecologists as common types of primary care doctors. Some individuals prefer to work with nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Once you have chosen a potential doctor, you can usually schedule an appointment for an interview to make sure that person is a good match. Some doctors, particularly pediatricians, may have open houses for potential patients as well. MedlinePlus suggests considering the entire environment, including the convenience of the office location and hours. Make sure the staff is friendly and that the provider's style of conversation puts you at ease and that you feel comfortable asking questions.

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