Finding a doctor is an essential step in creating a health care plan, but finding one who fits your unique needs is even more important, since the relationship you have with your doctor makes up a large part of your health care experience and can influence everything from the general mood at routine visits to outcomes during procedures. GreenField Health Clinic shares some tips to consider when searching for a new doctor:
- Decide what’s important. Not only does each person have their own unique health concerns; each person prefers different communication styles. Some people might prefer to share small talk with their doctor, while others would rather get straight to the matter at hand. Think about doctors or other health care practitioners you’ve had in the past: what did you like about them? What works for one person may not work for you, so take some time to consider your preferences.
- The location of your doctor may not seem that important, but it is a detail that can save a lot of time—or cause a headache. Picking a doctor located close by is a good idea if you visit the doctor regularly or want to make it easy to take advantage of urgent care.
- Some clinics, like GreenField Health Clinic at Touchmark, use the membership or a concierge model of doctor visits. The concierge model provides patients with more access to their medical providers and appointments that last as long as needed (as opposed to shorter, rushed appointments). Ask your provider if this is an option for you.
- Consult with those you care about when choosing a doctor. Some people have relatives who accompany them to doctor’s visits and provide support. Make sure your doctor is open to working with your family members or care team.
- Ask yourself if your doctor practices what they preach. If they advise healthy living by eating well, they probably shouldn’t encourage you to take candy home from their jar! Having hobbies outside of their medical practice also suggests a well-rounded doctor, so consider asking your practitioner what they like to do when they are not at work. This can also help you come to see your doctor as an individual person, not just a knowledgeable professional, and can encourage trust between you.
The relationship you have with your doctor is just one aspect of your health care experience, but because it is such an essential part, it is important to choose and build this relationship carefully. Your doctor should be able to grow with your needs and make you feel like a priority. When it comes to your health, there is no such thing as caring too much.
If you would like assistance in choosing a primary health care provider, please contact the Health Services team at your local Touchmark community.