How to Choose a Primary Health Care Provider

Going to the doctor for a well-check should be a positive experience. From the moment you walk through the doors, you should feel heard, supported and cared for by your primary health care provider.

Whatever care you need, they are responsible for guiding you through dietary changes, exercise, supplements and medications. They can guide you through flu season or preparing for an international trip. They are the first one you talk to before being referred to a specialist.

Your doctor is the cornerstone of your health care, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re seeing the right doctor for you. Here are three things to consider when choosing a primary health care provider.

Where Are They Located?

While you shouldn’t choose a doctor solely based on location, it does play a part in finding the right fit for you. Look for an office that’s conveniently located, whether it’s a few minutes from your home or in the same part of town where you work. It’s also a good idea to think about other care you may need – such as a lab for lab work – and whether those services are nearby, too. Is there a pharmacy in the area?

What about specialty care providers? Choosing a location that works for you can save you time and make the whole experience easier.

Not sure where an office is located? You can check the doctor’s website for an address, search for them on Google Maps or even call the main office for directions.

What Are Their Office Policies?

There’s nothing worse than waiting weeks for an appointment just to find out your paperwork never got faxed over – and you have to wait all over again. When choosing a primary health care provider, it’s wise to learn about their reputation and policies. If the office is always running behind, unreasonable about late arrivals or difficult to get in touch with, they might not be a good fit for you. On the other hand, hearing that a particular provider has a glowing reputation may help decide to schedule a first appointment.

To learn about an office’s policies, you can call or check their website for basic information. If you want to dig a little deeper, take a look at online reviews and ask around with friends. Someone you know may have had a great experience with a local doctor they wholeheartedly recommend.

What is Your Relationship Like?

When finding a primary care provider, perhaps the most important consideration is your relationship with the doctor. You want to see someone friendly, trustworthy and knowledgeable. You should be comfortable talking with them about both your physical and mental health. Above all, you want to find someone who actually listens to you (and cares). Some large practices have too many patients and the providers don’t have time to focus on each one. Smaller practices with fewer providers can often provide a more personal experience.

Want to learn more about a doctor before becoming a patient? Many offices offer a sort of meet-and-greet with the doctor or other care provider as a first appointment. If you’re on the fence about whether a doctor is the right one for you, call and ask if you can schedule a face-to-face meeting.

The ACV Health Difference

Looking for a health care provider who truly cares about you? ACV Health offers comprehensive care in a convenient and familiar environment. At each appointment, you are welcomed with the warmth of a small doctor’s office while still receiving the scale of care available from a much larger office. Our services range from primary and specialty care to rehabilitation and an on-site pharmacy.

Call today to schedule an appointment – our friendly providers would love to speak with you.

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Our friendly team is available to answer any questions you have about ACV Health.