Health Is Wealth With A Good PCP

Most people know an annual physical with a primary care physician (PCP) is recommended. Medical information such as weight, height, and blood pressure (BP) will be documented at this appointment. If there are known issues, the visit is a great time to bring up concerns or make adjustments to an existing treatment plan. For individuals looking for a new PCP, knowing the right questions to ask can make a big difference. When searching for a new primary care provider, ask these questions to find the best match.


1. Are the logistics compatible?

Before determining whether a doctor’s bedside manner is compatible, the core details need to be confirmed first. This means prospective patients need to know what insurance a medical office accepts, whether new patients are currently being accepted, and if the office hours are compatible with a person’s work schedule. Similarly, details such as languages spoken, and even a doctor’s gender may be important for some individuals. For example, a woman seeking a PCP to address a gynecology concern might feel more comfortable with a female doctor.

2. Is the doctor communicative?

These days, nearly everything is done online. Some individuals might prefer telehealth appointments conducted virtually via phone or video chat. Meanwhile, other people may opt for more traditional office visits. However, not all doctors support virtual visits. So, if this is a preference, ask if this communication method is available. Likewise, can an email be sent to the doctor or a nurse if a health concern arises between appointments?

3. What is the doctor’s expertise?

Depending on a person’s health concerns, a specialist vs a general practitioner may be more suitable. An individual in relatively good health who only needs to schedule an annual physical may not care as much about a physician’s specialties. However, a person with chronic health conditions may feel more comfortable working with a doctor specializing in that area.

4. Is the doctor collaborative?

Yes, the doctor is the individual who sat through countless years of medical school and hours of clinical rotations to earn a degree. That’s impressive, but the patient must live through a diagnosis and experience the treatment process. Some people prefer a doctor who listens and is inclusive when creating treatment plans. Additionally, some individuals may prefer to bring a trusted friend or relative to appointments to serve as an advocate. Will the doctor be responsive to the third party or treat that person like an interloper?

Finding a good doctor can take time

Ultimately, finding a good PCP is a combination of the physician’s competency in the medical field and the ability to ensure that patients feel seen and heard. Baseline concerns like accepted insurance and office hour compatibility will initially guide any PCP search. However, ensuring that concerns are properly addressed and that communication is not just possible but responsive and transparent are all important components to finding the right primary care physician.