For parents everywhere, finding a good, trustworthy physician who is family-friendly is not a simple task. But it is important to have a good family doctor to provide the right care and assistance and be familiar with your family’s medical history. And in emergency situations, having a trustworthy doctor to call brings peace of mind. Here is a list of tips to follow when trying to find the right doctor to fit your family.
A great place to begin the search is with your network of connections. Ask family, friends, social media acquaintances, and other contacts if they can recommend, or advise against, a particular family physician. Local friends may have insight into finding the best doctors in the area who can provide both care and professionalism.
When first visiting a medical office, don’t be afraid to ask about the doctor’s credentials because these are probably a fair barometer of the physician’s training and performance. While going to a prestigious medical school is well and good, what matters most is where the doctor did their residency.
A residency is where physicians practice before setting up their own office or practice. In the residency program, new doctors are being trained under credentialed doctors who will affect their clinical style far more than their schooling will. When searching for the right doctor, look for one who is affiliated with a respectable hospital and who has passed their board certifications. This information should be accessible on any insurance provider’s website.
Scrutinize the Office
After you have asked for a referral and done some homework on the doctor, it is time to meet in person. When first visiting the office, consider the way patients are being treated, how the receptionist treats everyone, and if the staff seems helpful and respectful. If everyone is being treated kindly, chances are they are running a reputable office.
Research has shown that patients who are uncomfortable with their doctors have poorer health than those who see empathetic, supportive and involved physicians. So feeling comfortable with the office and its staff is a big part of determining whether or not to come back for a return visit.
The first visit is a perfect time to come prepared with great questions for the doctor, nurses and other staff members you might meet. Apart from surveying how they treat patients, ask them plenty of questions and leave no stone unturned. When making the appointment, provide a few details about the reason behind the visit, namely, to find a good doctor for your family. This way the proper amount of time can be allotted for the appointment.
Being the first visit, the doctor will also have many questions mostly about family health history. Be ready to provide your information. You might even be able to fill out paperwork and a questionnaire ahead of time. Once at the office, do not be shy. Share health concerns, symptoms, and relevant health history so that the doctor is fully aware of what is going on.
After sharing about your history, here are some questions to ask the doctor:
•If their credentials were not readily available online, ask about where they went to school, who they studied under, and why they chose medicine and family practice as a career.
•Ask how to reach the doctor if there is an emergency or a question, and ask how long it normally takes them to respond. Also, ask if the doctor personally answers questions or concerns, or if they have a nurse or other staff member do it.
When looking for a family-friendly physician, be prepared to ask questions. A doctor should be there to support your family’s health, so it is important that you feel confident about who is treating them.
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