When was the last time you visited a doctor? If you’re like many Americans, you head to urgent care or the ER when something is wrong, but otherwise don’t schedule regular check-ups or preventative care. According to one report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 28% of men and 17% of women don’t have a primary care doctor.
There are significant benefits to having a primary care doctor – and not just when you are sick. Your doctor can take preventative steps and catch problems early on. Plus, you have a central place for your medical care.
If you don’t have a primary care doctor, it’s time to get one.
Here’s how you can take the first steps to find the right one.
Why Do You Need a Primary Care Doctor?
Most people think of doctor’s visits in two ways: sick or healthy. However, your primary care doctor treats your health on a spectrum. You may still need to visit the doctor when you are healthy so you can get healthier. A few of the services that primary care doctors help with include:
- Chronic care (diabetes, COPD, etc.)
- Male and female-specific exams
- Family medicine
- Allergy treatment
- Earwax removal
- Hormone therapy
This is just the tip of the iceberg for what your primary care doctor can do for you. Their job is to be your top resource for health and wellness concerns.
How to Find the Right Primary Care Doctor for You
If you want to start going to a primary care doctor, then you need to find one that is right for you. Here are a few criteria to consider when finding an office for direct primary care:
- Your doctor accepts your insurance. Insurance is one of the top drivers of doctor choice. Ask potential doctors up-front if they accept your insurance.
- Your doctor is nearby. If you have to drive across town to find your doctor, then you are more likely to put off follow-up visits or regular appointments. Plus, no one wants to drive an hour when they feel sick.
- The office has positive recommendations. The Internet has dozens of resources for getting primary care doctor recommendations. Read online reviews or ask your friends for doctors they suggest.
- You can easily schedule an appointment. You shouldn’t have to wait several months to see your doctor. See if the staff is willing to find time to bring you in.
- The office staff makes you feel welcome and comfortable. The closest primary care doctor that takes your insurance isn’t always the best. You should be able to trust your doctor and the rest of the staff. Find somewhere else if you feel uncomfortable.
If your doctor is hard to get to or treats you poorly, then you’re less likely to go. Take your time to find someone who works for you.
Schedule an Appointment with Florida Wellness
If you’ve been letting your annual appointments and wellness checks slide, schedule an appointment with Florida Wellness primary care today. This will create a base for your health and give you a home to turn to when you’re sick. We can’t wait to meet you!