Finding a primary care doctor for you and your family can be challenging if you are looking for one that will see everyone. A family doctor will often take patients of all ages, but you need to find one that is both good with kids and can handle anything the older family members need.
The family doctor used to be the most common way doctors practiced. They see every family member regardless of their age, but now more doctors are breaking out of this and into specific practices like pediatrics or internal medicine. If you are looking specifically for a family doctor, there are still many, but you may need to look a little harder to find them.
When you find a doctor you are interested in using, it is a good idea to call and talk to the staff to verify that the doctor sees patients of all ages and they are accepting new patients into the practice. You can let the office attendant know how many people are in your family, the ages, and when you want to come in to establish care.
Often you will need to fill out information for the doctor, but most practices can email or mail the papers to you so you can fill them out and bring them to your first appointments.
It is vital that you check your insurance coverage to ensure that they work with the doctor you are considering. Most insurance companies now require you to set a doctor as a primary doctor in the system, and if the one you choose is not in the insurance company's network, they will not always cover the cost of the appointments.
Often this is easy to check, and you can also ask the doctor's office if they accept your insurance when you first call for information. Often they will be able to tell you right away if they work with the plan you have or not. If they don't, you may need to find another family doctor in the area that is part of the insurance company's network to ensure you only have to pay the copays on your plan when you have an appointment.
If you cannot find a suitable family doctor in the area, you can set up a primary doctor separately for the children and the adults in the family. Often that means taking the kids to a pediatrician in the area and finding primary care you can see in a different practice.
While it can be more challenging to have a family doctor, in some situations it works better and helps keep the costs lower. If you are having trouble finding a primary doctor in your area, you can call the insurance company and they can go through a list of their network providers with you so you can find one that will fit your family's needs.
Contact a family doctor near you to establish care today.