Having a family doctor, as research shows, is linked to better health outcomes. But there’s one other great reason to have a family physician, and that is the doctor-patient relationship you can rely on for your and your family’s healthcare needs over the long term.
If you don’t have a family doctor or are not at ease with whom you’re currently seeing, now is the time to find a new one—one you can see yourself establishing a lifelong relationship with. Don’t wait till you or a family member gets ill. Pressure and illness can cause you to make a hasty, uninformed decision.
Here are some simple tips to help you streamline your search for the right family doctor for you.
o Gather several recommendations.
The first step in finding the best family doctor is to get lots of referrals.
Ask your family, relatives, friends, and colleagues. Word-of-mouth recommendations are inherently reliable, as they come from people you personally know and trust.
You can also get referrals from other medical practitioners. Talk to your dentist or therapist. They possibly work with general practitioners, so they are in a position to recommend a family doctor who fits your family’s needs.
o Do an internet search.
The World Wide Web is replete with resources that can help you find the right family doctor for you. You can find information about the practice’s business hours and the doctor’s credentials on their website.
Additionally, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website has a helpful database that allows you to verify the practitioner’s board certification status, the number of years they have spent in practice, and whether they have any medical malpractice history.
o Check their location.
Distance is one important factor that many tend to overlook. Twenty miles may only seem like a quick ride, but if you need to take time off work to drive there, then it can be inconvenient.
There are big advantages to having a family doctor whose office is located close to where you live or work. This lessens the burden of having to travel far and ensures you have fewer hindrances to showing up for your appointments.
o Read reviews.
In this day and age, it is very easy to find out about a medical practitioner’s reputation. Online reviews, though not necessarily a deciding factor, can help you make an informed decision with greater confidence.
You can find the answers to your own questions about the attitude of the doctor or the staff, quality of services, and wait times by reading reviews, which you can find either on the practice’s website and/or social media page.
o Schedule a visit.
This is a great way to ascertain the family doctor’s bedside manner and communication style, both of which have a huge impact on your confidence in their care and expertise as well as your overall experience.
Talk to the family doctors you have on your list and observe whether they have a soothing bedside manner and communicate effectively.
Are they able to explain complex medical concepts? Do they answer all your questions politely? Do you feel comfortable talking to them? If you answer no to any of these questions, it might be a sign that they may not be the right one for you.
Family Medicine Provider in Wellington, FL
If you’re searching for the right family doctor in the Wellington area in Florida, visit us at Advanced Medical Clinic for a consultation with our board-certified nurse practitioner, Shariffa Gunawardene. She is as equipped to provide you and your family with the highest quality of primary care services— the very same one you get from a family doctor in Wellington.