Getting sick is never a fun situation, especially in a country where you have to wait for hours in a crowded waiting room just to get seen by an overworked doctor. It can be hard to find the right doctor for you and your family. Luckily, there are ways to make this process easier, taking into account the following tips:
Tip #1 Create a list of what you’re looking for
By making a list of what you’re looking for in doctors, such as those who speak your language or work with your insurance plan, you can help narrow down the field of doctors to choose from. Plus, if you already have a family doctor that you’re looking to transfer certain records or prescriptions, then having this list will make it easier on them.
Tip #2 Learn about your insurance plan
By having an understanding of what your insurance covers, you will be able to look for doctors who work with both your needs and your budget. For example, some plans might require that you visit a doctor within 10 miles (ca.16 kilometres) of where you live.
Tip #3 Ask for recommendations
If you know someone who is working with a family doctor, then ask them to recommend one that they are happy with. And if you are friends with someone who is in the same profession, they might also be able to recommend a family doctor that works well with certain conditions they may have.
Tip #4 Start with your local hospital
Before you look to the left and right of your home, check where the nearest hospital is located. Some might even have an emergency room that can help treat conditions such as earaches and common fractures. So, check to see if your closest hospital or healthcare facility offers family doctor services.
Tip #5 Look for walk-in clinics
Some family doctors have walk-in clinics, which can help save time. For example, if you need to make a last-minute appointment, then a walk-in urgent care clinic might be the way to go. Plus, they can usually help diagnose and treat common health issues that might arise.
Tip #6 Consider the doctor’s location
If you have a busy day at work, then you might not want to make a trip across town to keep an appointment. So make sure that you find a family doctor near your home or office, so you won’t have to waste time travelling when you have other things to get done.
Tip #7 Check out their office hours
Family doctors’ office hours can vary, so you will want to find one that is open earlier in the morning and later at night. There might even be a few clinics that have appointments open on Saturdays, so check out what office hours they have that work best with your schedule.
Tip #8 Ensure they are accepting new patients
If you don’t have a family doctor, then make sure that the clinic you are looking at is accepting new patients before signing up for an appointment. This way, you can ensure that you’re not wasting your time looking for a family doctor in an area where they are already full.
Tip #9 Discover what is covered by their services
Some family doctors may not accept certain types of insurance which can make it more difficult to afford the type of care you need. So before you sign up for an appointment, make sure that their services are covered by your insurance. If they aren’t, then find a family doctor that they are and save yourself the time and money in the process.
Tip #10 Learn about their cancellation policy
If you have a busy work schedule, then the last thing you want is to keep a family doctor appointment and be late. So make sure that you find a family doctor that has a cancellation policy written clearly so you won’t get charged for keeping an appointment when you have to cancel it last minute.
Tip #11 Find doctors with online appointment booking
Don’t waste your time waiting hours in line to book an appointment. Instead, find doctors that offer online booking through their websites. This will help speed up the process when you’re looking for a family doctor and ensure that you’re not waiting for hours to book an appointment.
Tip #12 Think about what’s important to you and your family
Some people may want a family doctor that specializes in certain types of medicine, but for others, it might be important to have one who will take multiple forms of insurance. Either way, it’s important to find a family doctor that you will be happy with.
With these considerations taken care of ahead of time, you can sign up faster and enjoy peace of mind knowing that this person will be able to help take care of any healthcare needs without worrying about how it’s going to affect your budget!