Suburban Healthcare Associates
Family doctors are an important part of the health of every family. They provide primary care for patients of all ages, and can effectively diagnose, treat and prevent a multitude of medical issues. Choosing the right family doctor is vital, as they will be treating you and your loved ones for the long term.
How do I choose a family doctor?
Ask a friend — You may know that it’s not the best idea to trust health advice you find on the web. But it’s still smart to check out online reviews of your doctor. Better yet, ask someone you know in real life. Personal referrals can be a great place to start when looking for a physician. Patients should seek referrals from friends or family that have similar priorities and values in choosing a primary care physician. Referrals can also help patients find a doctor with specific disease familiarity if necessary.
Technology can help — Exciting new medical advances are changing patient care. Hopefully, your doctor is on board, creating a more tech-savvy practice for his or her patients. Keeping electronic records, maintaining a patient website with important information, and allowing patients to communicate via email: these are all positives when choosing a doctor. Of course, that’s only if the technology doesn’t replace actual interaction. A genuine doctor-patient relationship is based on a personal level. Technology can help us in how we communicate, but it should never replace or change the need for communication.
A shabby office is ok — Your doctor’s office can be a funny place, but you probably don’t want it to look funny. Keep in mind, though, that nice decor doesn’t always mean the office is well-run or that the doctor is great. It could mean that the doctor is investing their resources back to patient care, which is an important action at every practice. After all, does a high-tech classroom mean you’ll have a better teacher? You can still teach with chalk and a blackboard. Although it doesn’t always give a good first impression, rundown offices aren’t always a sign to run away. After all, medically old-school practices can still be quality practices.
Check the hospital — If you have to go to the hospital, choose one where your primary care doctor has privileges. That way, if you need to see a specialist, they’ll be in the same hospital system. Hospital systems often have central electronic medical record systems, and having access to all of the patient’s medical records can enhance communication between providers, improve continuity, and reduce healthcare costs. Ultimately, patients should choose a physician they can trust and based on their ability to provide high quality care.
Can you have two primary care doctors?
While it is possible to have two primary care providers, it is not necessary. It can be confusing remembering who you saw for what, or who you explained your symptoms to. Things can get very repetitive very quickly, and can oftentimes make your job as a patient harder. Consider why you would want two primary care doctors in the first place. Is your doctor not always available? Do they not provide the care you are looking for? Are you not comfortable telling them about your personal concerns? If so, then it may be time to switch providers to get all of your care in one place.
What is the difference between a family doctor and a general practitioner?
These professions are similar in many ways. However, a family practitioner generally treats patients of all ages with common conditions and illnesses and provides basic patient care. A general practitioner provides basic care along with performing minor suturing and wound treatment and ordering x-rays and scans.
If you or someone you know is looking for a family doctor, come to Suburban Healthcare today! Our family doctors are experienced in diagnosing, treating and preventing a wide array of different ailments, so come in today to find the care you need! To talk with an expert, contact our office today. Visit us online or give us a call to schedule an appointment at our clinic.