How To Look After Your Family With The Right Doctor

Mostly everyone will go through life with at least one physician to call their own. But what happens when you grow up and start a family of your own? Do you keep the general practitioner medicare
that you have had all along, or your spouse’s, or do you start searching out family doctors that will be treating your new family, especially the children you might be planning to have?

It may be rough to leave the doctor who has been giving you such wonderful attention all these years, from the annual physical exam to emergency illnesses. You could delay the doctor search until it becomes absolutely necessary, but things happen, and you know that you might put it off too long.

The first thing to do in this search is to check with your current insurance carriers, both yours and your spouse’s. There are some insurance companies that have limits on primary health providers, especially family physicians. You need to be clear about what you can and cannot do when it comes to searching for family doctors, especially when the question is whether your insurance company will accept the change, or even if the doctors in question will accept your insurance.

Now it is time to collect referrals. There are so many sources available to you for referrals: your insurance company, your previous doctor, your friends, your family, not to mention all those that can be garnered from your spouse’s side! Once you have gathered together a list of referrals, you can now weed through them based on their practice. You need to know what kind of practice you want to deal with on a regular basis for your family.

Do you want a large practice with a lot of doctors, who might have longer hours than others will? Or do you want to visit a smaller practice, with more individualized care? If they have been referred by people who know you well enough, ask questions to see how their experience with the family doctors they referred matches your expectations. If they do not seem like a good fit, eliminate them from the list.

After narrowing down the list a bit further, start calling and making appointments to visit the remaining family physicians. Make sure that you explain that you are looking for a new doctor for your new family, and take this time to ask all the important questions you need to. Make sure that you learn about the practice’s policies, and gauge the staff’s friendliness and compassion. When you get to actually see the doctor, be sure to ask the really tough questions that you may have concerns about, like their views on childbirth, vaccinations, general health care, or any other important subject that crosses your mind. If you do not ask, you will not know.

Once the visits are over, sit back down with your list, and match it against your true priorities. Do you want a family health provider that is closer to your home, or one that does home visits or telephone consultations? Be certain that your spouse’s views are the same as yours on each doctor you visited, because their comfort and trust is just as important as yours. Once you are able to come to a consensus on which of the many family doctors you started with looks the best, go ahead and begin the paperwork to change everything with your insurance, and the doctor’s practice. Congratulations, you are finished with your search.