Choosing A Doctor Near You

Your primary care provider is more than just a doctor. Over time, your provider will learn your medical history, your reactions to medications and your lifestyle goals, making it essential to choose a doctor who will take the time to understand you and guide you through the health care system.


How to Choose a Doctor

Primary care doctors help guide their patients through every stage of life. Whether you are looking for a new primary care provider after switching to a new insurance plan or need to make a change after seeing one physician for years, some of our top tips to guide your search include:

Ask Others

The first step in finding a great provider is to talk to as many people as possible. Ask friends and relatives about their providers to help you identify which doctors are best. However, remember every person has a different experience. Even though a provider is perfect for someone else, you don’t have to feel the same way about a physician.

Make Sure They Work Within Your Health Plan

After identifying possible candidates, the next step is to verify if they work with your health plan. You can call the office or your insurance company or check the practice’s website to see which insurance policies they accept. Most insurance plans will change if you see out-of-network providers, so verifying that your new doctor is in-network is essential.

Do a Quality Check

Some insurance companies have information about the quality ratings of in-network care providers. If you have Medicare, you can use the Physician Compare tool to find and compare providers. You can also use the Certification Matters site to see if your provider is board-certified.

Place a Cold Call

Calling a potential provider is a great way to develop an accurate first impression of the practice. During your cold call, you can ask questions about whether the doctor is accepting new patients to gauge the staff’s phone etiquette. You can also inquire about office logistics such as the prescription refill policy and if you can schedule appointments online.

Trust Your Instincts

Your primary care provider will be an advocate for you and your health, so it’s vital that you trust them and feel comfortable asking questions. After your first appointment, ask yourself if you felt at ease with your provider, if they showed interest in getting to know you and if they explained things in an easy-to-understand way. If something seems off with your provider, consider a different option.


What to Consider When Choosing a Doctor

Choosing the right doctor for your needs means considering various factors. For example, even if a doctor lists that they are in your health care provider’s network, there’s always a chance this is no longer true, as doctors often change their networks without updating their information. Verify if a doctor is in-network by calling their office and asking if a specific doctor accepts your insurance plan. Some additional considerations include:

  1. Office hours and availability: It’s essential to screen your provider options to ensure they offer the most benefit for you. For example, if you work full-time and often need care, a doctor with limited hours and a full schedule is not ideal. Some questions you may wish to ask your provider include how long it takes to get an appointment, how long your wait time in the office before you actually see the doctor may be, and if there is any weekend availability.
  2. Office distance from your home: Before booking your appointment, research the office’s distance from your home. If a provider’s office is too far away or difficult to reach, it may be worth looking at other options.
  3. Doctor’s bedside manner: A provider with a poor bedside manner will not provide adequate care even if they are in your insurance’s network. Before booking your appointment, search for reviews and written feedback that discusses your doctor’s attitude so that you have as much information as possible.


Experience Compassionate, World-Class Care With First Docs

At First Docs, we provide various medical, social and preventative primary care services. Whether you are looking for a doctor near Levittown, Pennsylvania, or Hamilton, New Jersey, our customized system helps all patients find the appropriate care solutions for inpatient and outpatient settings. We invite you to complete our online contact form today to request an appointment!

Would you like to share?