How to Choose a Primary Care Physician
5 Things to Look for in a Primary Care Provider
Published December 2014
Maybe you moved to a new city, your doctor relocated or your insurance plan changed. Regardless of the reason, if you're looking for a primary care provider in Chicago, the northern suburbs or the western suburbs, keep in mind these five factors to find the physician that’s right for you.
A primary care provider will be your go-to doctor for managing a long-term illness or when you’re just plain sick. He or she will oversee the whole scope of your health, and you should feel comfortable talking to them about personal information.
Whether practical or personal, your needs are going to guide your choice of physician. Insurance coverage or convenience of location can influence your decision, and chronic conditions or lifestyle change may lead you to a practice with an appropriate area of focus like family medicine.
Visit potential offices and find out if the staff is friendly and easy to contact. If you can, schedule a check-up to see if the physician’s style matches your own. Discover what you can about the fine print like cancellation and payment policies or who will cover your care if your primary physician is out.
Out of the Office
Learn about the care available to you outside normal office hours. Will you be able to reach your provider by phone or email? For comprehensive care, try to establish how involved your physician would be when receiving treatment at a hospital or from a specialist.
Bringing together all of the above, your preferences will naturally play a role in finding the perfect primary care physician. If you would like a physician who shares your gender or religion, allow that to help narrow your search. Interested in the latest advances in health care? Look for a physician with certificates of continued education.