Finding a good primary care physician is the most important step in being proactive in your own healthcare.
These days I see way too many people just opening up their local phone books and selecting a physician by viewing an advertisement in the yellow pages or by seeing an advertisement on television. In my opinion, this is the wrong way to be selecting your own personal physician.
Here are the steps you should be taking:
1. Ask your family and friends who they are seeing for their primary healthcare. Ask them for referrences.
2. Call your local hospital or the hospital you prefer going to and asking them for a referral. These days, a lot of hospitals have Physician Referral Hotlines.
3. Call your local state medical board. Ask them to refer a few physicians to you and let them know upfront that you do not want any referrals to problematic physicians who have complaints against them. In addition, any physician that you are considering you should be checking out their credentials with your state medical board.
4. Ask some local nurses. If you don't know any nurses personally, ask your friends and family if they do. I often find that the best referrals come from nurses who often know who is the best in the area in a specific medical speciality.
5. Call your insurance company. These days a lot of insurance companies will help you find the perfect physician and often times they are also aware of any physician who has complaints filed against he or she, information that you might not otherwise know about.
Sit down and right down the names of the physicians that have been referred to you and go over your list. If you are comfortable with a certain sex (male or female) eliminate the others.
You can call up the state medical board and check out their credentials. You can also get online and go to the American Medical Associations website and find out information there.
I also recommend that you do a web search for the physician you are considering by going to a major search engine online and typing in the physicians name. Usually, a lot of online information will pop up that you can continue your investigation.
You should always do your research before selecting a physician. One of the most important members of your healthcare team begins with the Primary Care Physician so make sure you have one that you fully trust and who is qualified to take care of you and your family.