Family medicine practitioners are the cornerstone of healthcare in our communities and they provide primary care to patients, whether they’re young children or senior citizens, and they handle a wide range of issues from coughs and colds to broken bones and cancer treatment.
Many people think family medicine is only for aging patients; however, it can also be helpful for adults who need regular checkups with their physician or women who are looking for support during pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
Look For One That fits Your Needs
When you’re looking for a family medicine practitioner like myself Dr Francene Gayle, it’s important to find one that fits your needs. Here are some things to consider:
- Convenient location- it’s always nice when the doctor’s office is close by and easy to get to and if possible, choose one that’s near public transportation or has parking available
- Hours of operation- you may want to schedule appointments early in the morning or late at night so you can make time during work hours or perhaps after work would be better for your schedule? Either way, make sure they have hours that work well with yours
- Accepts insurance plans and which ones- not all insurance providers cover all types of care equally; some offer more comprehensive benefits than others do; some might even require prior authorization before they’ll pay anything toward services rendered by doctors within their network
- Make sure any family medicine practice being considered accepts your current health plan so there aren’t any surprises down the line regarding costs associated with treatment options discussed during consultations
Ask About Their Board Certifications And Experience
Board certification means, as Dr Francene Gayle will define it, that the doctor has passed an exam in his or her specialty, and it’s usually required for them to get paid by insurance companies. Many doctors have at least one board certification, but some have more than one for example, some may be certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics.
You should also find out how many years of experience they have practicing medicine, as well as how many patients they see per day on average; this will give you an idea of whether or not this person can meet all of your needs as a patient and provide appropriate care for everyone in your family if necessary.
The Kind Of Insurance They Accept
The first thing to do is check the doctor’s website to see if they accept your insurance plan and if they don’t, or if their office staff cannot tell you which plans they accept, then it may be time to look elsewhere.
If your family physician does accept your insurance plan and you still have questions about how much it will cost, call their billing department directly and ask them those questions. They should be able to give you an estimate over the phone so that there are no surprises when it comes time for payment at check-out.
The Number Of Years In Practice
In general, a practice that has been in the area for a long time is more likely to be well-established and have a positive reputation.
A practice that’s been in the area for only a short time may be newer and innovative, but it’s also more likely to be interested in meeting your needs.
If you’re new to the area or if there aren’t any options available where you live, look for family medicine practices with positive reviews from patients and other healthcare professionals on websites.