6 tips to pick your primary care doctor

picking a primary care doctor Thursday, January 31, 2019

We all have different priorities when it’s time to find a doctor. Only you can decide the right doctor for you. You should have confidence in your choice so you can get the care you need.

Here are some questions you can ask and tools you can use to help pick your primary care doctor:

  1. Identify what’s important to you
    Create a wish list of everything you want in your doctor. Some qualities are more straightforward: location, gender, experience, languages, and specialty. Others, like communication style and bedside manner, are less tangible.
  2. Talk to your friends and family
    Everyone trusts people they know more than random strangers online, especially when it comes to recommendations about where to go for good care. Friends and family are usually happy to share the name of a doctor they like. You may also have an easier time asking them about experience with specific medical conditions you’re managing.
  3. Do some online searches
    You can find lots of information on the internet. You can look at reviews on sites like Yelp and ZocDoc to see what patients have to say. You can also find doctors’ own websites, hospital or clinic websites, mentions in local news media, or published research papers. These sites will often include the doctor's medical interests, philosophy of care, and even hobbies and interests. Let your favorite search engine pull together what's out there to help you.
  4. Use our provider directory
    Once you have decided what's important to you in a doctor, sign in at lifewisewa.com or on the LifeWise mobile app and search our provider directory. You'll find a list of doctors who are in your health plan’s network. Refine the list using your criteria to find doctors that match what you’re looking for. After your appointment, come back and leave a review.
  5. Stay in network
    When you're signed in to lifewisewa.com, you can be sure that the doctors you want to see are in your network before you make an appointment. You'll pay less if you use doctors in your plan's provider network.
  6. Make a few calls
    To help make a final decision, you can give your candidates a call. Phone interviews can help you dig deeper into the criteria that matter to you, especially the intangibles like bedside manner. They should also help you find out if you can relate to each person on a personal level.