Picking a PCP: Tips for Finding Your Perfect Primary Care Physician
It’s important to have a relationship with your primary care doctor (PCP), but sometimes you might want a new doctor depending on circumstances. So what do you even look for in a PCP, or how do you even find the one who will work with you best? Today, I’m going over the best practices when deciding on a primary care physician and what you should look for when on the search. Your PCP is the mechanic to your body and makes sure everything is working properly. What kind of relationship do you want with yours?
The Different PCP Types
There are many different types of PCP. There are family medicine doctors who work with people of all ages, and internal medicine doctors who generally care for people age 14 and up and has a broad understanding of the internal organs of the adult body. For many women, a gynecologist physician is a resource for understanding the female body. There are pediatricians who are trained to take care of newborns, infants, children, and adolescents. Medical doctors are licensed to practice medicine and have 4 years of medical school experience. You also might have a PCP that has help from mid-level providers to help take care of patients, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Each PCP varies a little so it’s important to pick one that is best suited for you.
In Network or Out?
Depending on your plan, your doctors will most likely need to be in-network. This means that the PCP has a contract with your insurance, which gives you a chance to receive discounts; it also means you will pay less out-of-pocket for visiting your in-network doctor. An out-of-network PCP means you will have to pay in full if you visit them. So how do you know which network to choose? If you know of a doctor who you might have a good relationship with, but they aren’t in your carrier’s network, it might be a good idea to get an out-of-network plan. If you are looking for a certain type of specialist, it will probably be easier to find someone who can help in your network than trying to find one outside and paying that bill.
You can always ask family members, co-workers, or friends for suggestions on a physician you feel comfortable with. Be sure to visit the doctor to get a feel for if you will be comfortable with them. Your health is important and having someone in your corner is important. Picking a PCP can be difficult, but these tips should help you narrow down your selections. For more tips on finding your perfect PCP, click here.
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