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How to Choose the Right Doctor for Your Family

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  • Written By: Flagler Health+
How to Choose the Right Doctor for Your Family

Whether you’ve relocated or you’re looking to establish care with a family doctor, choosing your provider can be an overwhelming process. Depending on where you live, you might find dozens—or even hundreds—of doctors listed in your area, all of which may be a potential fit for your family’s needs.

This decision can become even more complicated when trying to sort out which of these prospective doctors are accepting new patients, willing to work with your patients, or offering the specialties and services your family needs from its primary care provider.

Although it can be tempting to settle for the first doctor willing to take you on as a patient, due diligence is key to forging a lasting, productive relationship with a family doctor you can trust. Here’s a quick guide to researching your options and finding a (good doctor) to take on your family members as patients.

The Most Important Qualities When Choosing a New Doctor

As you review doctor listings in your area—through online directories and other sources of information—it’s helpful to know what criteria you should weigh in your search for the right family doctor.

While every family may value certain qualities more than others, you may want to give strong consideration to the following criteria:

  • Availability for appointments. When you want to schedule an appointment with your doctor, how far out do you have to book those appointments?
  • Your home of work’s proximity to the doctor’s office. A five-minute trip to the doctor is much different than a 35-minute trip—especially if you’re making repeat visits in a short period of time, or have to visit the doctor for an urgent reason. The closer you are to where it’s most convenient for you, the more accessible your health care will become.
  • Whether the doctor’s office takes your insurance. If a prospective doctor doesn’t take your insurance, they likely aren’t a good fit for your needs.
  • The services offered at your doctor’s office. Does the location also offer lab testing and other related services, or do you have to travel elsewhere for those procedures?
  • The doctor’s hospital affiliations. If you need to be admitted to the hospital, will the primary care provider you know and trust be able to access the medical care you received during that time?
  • Your level of trust or comfort. After meeting with the prospective doctor, do you feel comfortable raising concerns? Are you confident in the level of care and attention you will receive?

How Can I Find the Best Family Doctors Near Me?

Struggling to sort through your local doctor options? Here are some simple tips to help you build a list of quality local prospects:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family. Word of mouth recommendations are often a strong resource for finding health care providers you can trust.
  • Start your search close to home, work, or wherever is most convenient. If proximity matters, begin your search with doctor offices near your home address, and then work your way out in search of the best fit.
  • Read online reviews of specific doctors and health care clinics. These online reviews can be revealing in ways both good and bad. Ultimately, though, they can help you gather information on some of your top prospects.
  • Search online for doctors possessing specific specialties. If you or a family member has specific health care needs, such as a genetic disorder or other chronic health concern, you may want to emphasize finding a doctor with experience dealing with that condition.

While the process of finding a new doctor can sometimes be challenging, the value of a great family doctor is hard to overstate. Start your search today to find a new doctor that offers an excellent fit for your family’s needs.