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How Can I Find the Best Primary Care Physician Near Me?

Managing your healthcare can be a difficult task. The first step of doing so is to have or find a primary care physician who’s right for you. A primary care physician would be your go-to for any kind of healthcare problem and is the most important healthcare professional in your life.  

Primary care physicians are basically your first stop whenever you are facing some kind of health-related problem.  Once you consult them for the problem he/she may be to cater to it him/herself or in case the issue requires more specialty-specific guidance, they may refer you to another doctor.

In order to find a primary care physician, it is essential that you know what exactly is important to you in a doctor-patient relationship and if you think the physician can cater to your problems in the best way possible.

Who is a Primary Care Physician?

Primary care physicians are the first medical practitioners contacted by the patient. They are the doctors who provide the initial and the basic medical care to the patients. They are often referred to as general practitioners or general physicians. Their scope of practice basically covers simple diagnosis and treatment of common conditions like diabetes and weight management. In addition to that, a primary care physician may also provide preventive care like annual checkups, blood tests, and immunizations.

They are the physicians’ people opt for in case of a sudden illness or injury and they also help manage chronic and acute diseases. They majorly benefit individuals and it is recommended by many healthcare professionals to have a go-to primary care physician.

In a 2005 study, published in The Milbank Quarterly, researchers found that primary care helps prevent illness and death and that it is also associated with a more equitable distribution of health in populations.

What type of doctors qualifies as PCPs?

The field of medicine has a wide range of specialties but mainly three qualify as PCPs.

1)  Family Medicine:

A family practitioner has the skills and qualifications required to provide care for the entire family. A family doctor can be certified in multiple specialties like obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, Internal Medicine, or psychiatry. They treat and provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages, from newborns to seniors.

2)  Internal Medicine:

An internal medicine physician or internist refers to someone who can diagnose and treat diseases using medicines. A doctor who applies his/her scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis and treatment. They diagnose and manage diseases that occur in body organs and are trained to deal with critically ill patients. An internist can have a sub-specialty like specializing in a particular organ like lungs or kidney and they might specialize in particular diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

3)  Pediatrics:

A pediatrician is a physician who caters to the healthcare needs of infants, toddlers, children, and young adults. Many children have had the same pediatrician since they were infants to the age of 14-18. They are trained to deal with illnesses that mostly occur in children, from minor health problems to serious diseases.  

How to find a primary care doctor near me?

It can be a tiresome task to find a PCP. Here we have listed out some ways in which you can find a primary care physician:

  • Check your health insurance plan

If you have insurance, you might just opt for the primary care physicians that are in your network before spending a whole lot of time researching different primary care physicians who may not be a part of your network. Many insurance companies have provider directories that can help you find physicians located near you. It’s better to select an in-network doctor to avoid out-of-network charges or having to pay the full charges for a doctor’s visit yourself.

  • Referrals

Look for recommendations from the people around you. People are likely to trust a physician recommended by their friends or family members. If you have a healthcare professional in the family, you can even ask for recommendations for them as they for sure would know more about the medical community and would be able to direct you towards a good primary care provider.

  • Use Local Search Engines

Google and other search engines should be your main source of information.  You can search for a primary care physician near you. You can also refer to local search-and-discovery platforms like Yelp and Foursquare where people post reviews about businesses. Foursquare would even recommend a primary care physician based on your location. You can search for “local doctors near me” or “doctors in my area” to further narrow down your list of primary care physicians based on locality. 

  • Read Reviews

Check out and read reviews about different primary care physicians on various different platforms. Physicians now even have their own social media accounts. You can read reviews on these accounts. You might also get an idea about the physician on a more personal level based on their digital accounts. But always be cautious while reading reviews. A negative review might not always mean that the primary care physician is providing bad service. It can also mean that a patient went to that particular physician for a specific outcome but upon review, that outcome or treatment wasn’t the right course of action.

  • A Quick Background Check

Always do a quick background check. This is essential for your own safety. Read reviews, check directories, ask other doctors about the primary care physician you are opting for. You should also check the educational and clinical background of the physician as well as any serious complaints against the physician like theft or assault.

  • Visit the Doctor

Once you have created a list of prospective primary physicians for you based on their location, insurance network, and educational and clinical background. Visit the doctors to further assess their service and to get a clearer sense of what they’re like. Analyze the service based on how the provider is catering to your healthcare needs.

Final Note

It’s best to have a go-to primary physician who understands your healthcare needs and deals with all your problems proficiently and with compassion. In the end, it’s about the relationship you forge with this important caregiver.

The primary care physicians at Manhattan Medical Arts have the right skills and experience that ensure exceptional service for their patients. Visit us and let us help you deal with all your health-related concerns.