Choosing a doctor or a professional who is responsible for any medical care you receive is a task that needs to be done carefully. This gets especially important as we get older, or when we’re choosing someone to handle proper care for a senior.
It sure helps an elderly person to stay healthy and active. However, for elderly patients, seeing a primary care provider, which is also sometimes referred to as PCP can be of great importance. Such primary care physicians are known as “geriatricians” and they can help with treating the complex medical needs that come with aging.
You might be wondering, how can I know if there is a registered doctor near me? Or where to look for doctor offices near me? Don’t worry, these common questions will cross your mind when you have to select the right Primary Care Physician for yourself or a senior individual.
Are you not happy with your current doctor? Taking into account old age, do you think it would be too much of a hassle to switch now to your nearest physician? Will you need to wait months before you can get an appointment with your new primary care physician? Can you get an emergency appointment? How will they have access to my medical records and learn about my health history? Will they be good enough?
All these questions make it look like choosing the perfect primary care physician can be a confusing and challenging task. In reality, this task does not have to be so daunting. Let’s look at some key tips that can help you find professional help that is right for you or any senior individual.
Understand Why You Need a Primary Care Physician
If you can understand why you need a primary care physician, you will know what qualities you are looking for. So, a primary care physician or a geriatrician who has additional training in treating older adults will take responsibility for looking after all of your needs related to healthcare as you get older. In most cases, a primary care physician is someone that an individual will continue to see for an extended period of time.
The main reason behind this is that this allows them to get to know you, your family and health history, and any other relevant information which will in turn enable them to provide you with the highest level of care possible.
Moreover, choosing the right geriatrician or a primary care physician that caters to elderly patients should be able to help with most, if not all, health issues that come with old age. These can include back pain, headache, diabetes, chronic illnesses, and other health issues that we may experience as we get older.
Your primary care physician will be there to offer you health and wellness advice. They may also suggest and even schedule preventive testing by taking into account your age, your current health condition, and your health history. Also any tests for any medical concerns or problems you may inform them about. The primary care physician will also act as the lead practitioner for any and all treatments that you require.
Moreover, in the event that you require care outside of the primary care physician’s area of expertise, he or she will be responsible for referring you to other healthcare providers or specialists that can provide the services you require.
Where Can You Find a Primary Care Physician?
Different individuals have different needs. You may have to work on which primary care providers are available and what specific needs they can take care of. However, this task is made easier by Oak Street Health, a platform that specializes in personalized primary care for older adults. The platform provides an easy and straightforward answer to your question: “how to find doctors near me?”
Once you know about all the primary care physicians near you, your next step should be to narrow them down to the point where you are able to choose someone as your lead healthcare provider. You can learn more about what options exist in your area with just a few clicks before choosing any of these options that interest you.
However, there are other ways of finding a geriatrician. Let’s discuss other ways in which you can find a perfect primary care physician that meets your needs. These can be:
- You could talk to your friends or your family to see if they have someone they might recommend to help you with the task of finding a primary care physician.
- If you know a trusted doctor or a healthcare professional, you can ask them if there is a primary care physician near you who can take care of all your complex medical needs that come with age.
- If you have a certain medical condition that may be common like diabetes or chronic diseases, you could communicate with a group that specializes in any such condition to find out if they have a recommendation for you to help you with the process of choosing a professional for yourself.
- Most health insurance plans have a list of primary care physicians who are available for the patient based on the specific plans that they are offering. Insurance providers who cover the medical expenses might limit your options to a specific predetermined list of doctors.
- Moreover, you can always simply do your own research to try to find a doctor that could be the perfect fit. You could use google and read reviews before deciding on a primary care physician.
How to Choose the Perfect Primary Care Physician?
Choosing a primary care physician requires diligence. It helps to take into account a number of different factors when you are trying to decide who to choose as your primary care physician. Here is a list of different factors that you should be looking at:
- Find out how friendly or helpful the doctor and the office staff are when they are treating patients. Do not forget that professionalism is still very important.
- Check out how easily you can get in touch with the primary care physician to ask any healthcare-related questions and how easy and time-consuming it is to schedule an appointment.
- You should also find out whether the primary care physician is available to see you or meet with you at a time that is convenient to you or any aging individual that you are assisting.
- Observe whether the doctor and the office staff are as focused on disease prevention and wellness as you would like.
- Ask yourself whether you would like a primary care physician who is aggressive or conservative when it comes to treatment plans.
- Look into how easy or difficult it would be to get a referral from the provider or the geriatrician if that becomes necessary at some point in time.
- If the primary healthcare provider discusses everything with you and explains as best as he or she can when deciding the healthcare process that you require.
It is important to remember that the goal here is to make sure that the primary care physician you choose is a good fit for you and can take care of all your healthcare-related needs.
To include a final thought, we propose that you remember that it will help if you can schedule an appointment with any primary care physician that you like to see what you think of him or her (and their office staff) before you entrust them with this role.
The appointment will give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have regarding issues that you think are important. If you’ve considered all of the points that have been made above, and you have done your research, you will know exactly what you’re looking for from a primary care physician.
Choose carefully to make sure you get what you’re looking for. We all deserve great primary care, which only gets more important as we grow older.