People who develop a strong relationship with their doctor are said to enjoy better health as well as confess to great contentment with their care. This sounds sensible since collaboration and excellent communication with your family doctor can help ensure that you’re given the treatment and tests needed. A family doctor is also known as a primary care doctor, which you talk to about the general health of your family.
Finding a reliable family doctor can be a challenge especially with the amount of information available around us. So we present here several ways to help you find a reliable family doctor.
- Check recommendations. If you know someone in the healthcare industry, you can ask them for recommended doctors around your location. If you’re around Townsville, you may want to check out this medical centre in Townsville. Your friends or family may also recommend names of doctors whom they’ve worked with and liked. Be specific in asking for recommendations since you’re looking for someone who is skilled in caring for all your family members. Consider someone who can work with both young and old people, for example.
- Check with your insurance. You can use the website of your insurance or its directory to look for doctors within your area. If you’re using this step to find a doctor, double check that the doctor still accepts your insurance since they usually drop or add insurance plans.
- Determine hospital affiliations. Your chosen doctor determines which hospital you should go to and it’s best to check which hospital your doctor has admitting privileges. Check hospital ratings to know how the hospital facility measures up to other hospitals in the location.
- Beware of red flags. These include disciplinary actions or malpractice complaints. A good doctor may get a few complaints, but one who has several malpractice claims is something that you should not ignore. Some disciplinary actions include inappropriate sexual behavior or substance abuse, although it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of a doctor’s sanction.
- Think about compatibility. You can use the first visit to test your doctor’s personality and ability to maintain a good relationship with you. Some things to consider in a doctor are:
- Listens to you without interrupting.
- Gives complete and detailed answers to your questions.
- Takes time to explain your diagnosis and treatment.
- Specifies a date for your next visit.
- Inquire about drug representatives. A lot of doctors allow representatives from drug companies into their offices to talk about their products. This takes up plenty of the doctor’s time and can improperly influence their selection of drugs. This can make you start a line of brand-name drugs that are more expensive or simply not the best for you.
- Check office policies. Find out how long it takes for a patient to schedule an appointment for a routine visit. Check if you can have same-day appointments and how long patients are kept waiting. Once you’ve made your first visit and your expectations were not met, think about looking for someone else. It’s essential not only for your time but also for your health.
- Evaluate the staff. These people will help you schedule appointments, give the physician your messages, check you in and out, and answer insurance concerns. You’re looking for people who are efficient, friendly and respectful. This team of people manages health care and this includes you. Because you’re entrusting your family’s health to these people, you should only look for the best.
- Consider technology. A doctor can review your medical history, share your medical information with specialists and monitor your drugs using electronic health records. A lot of doctors today also have a secured website, which provides patients with round the clock access to their health information. Patients can also book and follow doctor appointments, request prescription refills, obtain lab results and e-mail questions to their doctor. Health information should be protected with encryption and passwords, which is a government requirement. Nevertheless, ask how all of your information will be protected.
- Check board certification. A certified doctor means that he has earned a medical degree from a competent medical school, finished three to seven years of residency training and is licensed by the Medical Board of Australia or any other part of the world. For a doctor to maintain his certification, he is expected to pursue continuing education.
Choosing a reliable family doctor is a critical health decision to make for the whole family. You will share your health concerns with him, and your family’s overall health depends on this individual. It’s important that you develop a positive and strong relationship with your chosen family doctor.