Considerations When Searching for a Primary Care Doctor

Whether you are moving or are simply looking for a new dr t primary care harlingen doctor, the search can be a difficult one. You need to find someone you trust with your health and the health of your family. This is a person you are comfortable speaking with and on whom you can rely.

Primary care doctors are people who understand your family’s medical history and are the main point of contact for medical care. From annual check-ups and physicals to treating yearly colds and allergies, your primary care doctor is the first person you turn to in keeping your family well. They are also the person you turn to when you need recommendations for specialty care doctors for health needs your family has outside of the primary care doctor’s areas of expertise.

There are three kinds of primary care doctors – family practitioners or general practitioners, internists and pediatricians. A family or general practitioner offers comprehensive health care across a broad range of specialties, including internal medicine, gynecology and general surgery. An internist specializes in internal medical diagnoses and treats diseases without surgery. Internists are usually best for adult patients. Pediatricians oversee the health and wellbeing of children from infants until they are young adults. This person is specifically trained to understand and recognize medical problems that can impact young people.

When searching for new primary care doctors, there are a number of questions you need to consider before selecting the doctor for you. But, one question stands out above the rest – does this doctor meet your needs?

The physician should have the educational background necessary to treat you and your family members. You can confirm the doctor’s background through a number of different resources, including the American Medical Association’s (AMA) “DocFinder”. This database offers comprehensive information about the medical school, professional achievements and certifications of almost every doctor registered with the AMA.

Next, check to see if he or she is certified by the American Board of Family Physicians, American Board of Internal Medicine or American Academy of Family Physicians. Each of these organizations maintains a directory of active members. Additional certifications with these boards and academies will ensure your new primary care doctor has the qualifications to treat your family.

The search for a pediatrician is similar, but you can find a few additional resources to help you. Begin your research with the state medical board, as it will track the records and credentials of practicing pediatricians in your area. The board will let you know if the pediatrician was involved in medical malpractice or has had his or her license suspended. You can gather more information from the American Board of Pediatricians, which certifies children’s doctors.

If you liked your pediatrician, consider asking that person to care for your children or asking for a recommendation. When you contact the pediatrician’s office, find out whether he or she is accepting new patients, if you can get a billing discount for multiple kids and if he or she has the specialties necessary to treat your son or daughter.

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