In a recent blog post, we discussed the advantages of having a primary care physician versus a general practice doctor. Hopefully we answered your questions and convinced you to take the first step toward establishing a meaningful relationship with a primary care physician.
There are many reasons that may lead you to obtain a new primary care physician, including moving to a new area, changing jobs/health insurance plans, or perhaps you simply want a different one. Whatever the reason, you have probably realized that the search for a primary care physician can be overwhelming because there are so many factors to consider. How do you choose the right doctor? Don’t give up! Trinity Medical Group is here to help you make this important decision.
Types of Primary Care Physicians
Let’s begin by reviewing the most common types of primary care physicians and the kind of care that each can provide to you and your family.
- Pediatrician – Specializes in caring for children, from infants to the end of adolescence.
- Internal Medicine Physician – Specializes in prevention, diagnosis, and management of disease and chronic conditions in adults.
- Family Medicine Physician – Specializes in general medicine and can treat the entire family, from infants to seniors.
Have you decided which type you prefer? If so, let’s move on to the selection process.
Tips to Select a Primary Care Physician
We recommend using the methods below to help narrow your search for a primary care physician.
Find doctors covered under your healthcare insurance plan. If you have health insurance, you will likely need to choose a doctor that’s in its network. Contact your insurance company for a list of local physicians who accept your plan. This is a very important step to avoid any unexpected out-of-pocket costs.
Get a personal referral. A recommendation from trusted friends or family members is a great way to find a doctor.
Consider physician demographics. Characteristics such as age, gender, experience, and languages spoken may impact your comfort level and also health information that you choose to share. You can call the physician’s office or check the website to learn more.
Office location and hours. Determine if the office location and hours are convenient for you. For example, Trinity Medical Group has two locations (Lakeland and Winter Haven) to accommodate our patients.
Ask your current physician. If you are moving to a new geographical area, try asking your current doctor for a referral.
Find a physician on your own. You can also use websites such as American Medical Association to find a board-certified doctor anywhere in the United States.
Before The First Appointment
Congratulations! You have selected a primary care physician and made an appointment. Now what? Spend some time gathering information such as a list of current questions and concerns, medical and immunization records, prior health- screening results, dates of medical procedures and/or surgeries, as well as a list of medications or supplements you’re currently taking. It’s important to bring as much of this information as possible to the appointment so your doctor can begin to understand your medical history.
Building a strong relationship over time and creating a holistic, preventative healthcare plan is the main goal of a primary care physician. At Trinity Medical Group, we believe that having a trusted physician with an in-depth knowledge of your medical history is invaluable to your health.
If you’re interested in seeing one of our primary care physicians, call Trinity Medical Group at 863.646.4000 (Lakeland) or 863.299.2636 (Winter Haven) to schedule an appointment. We’re looking forward to seeing you!