While many people may not realize it, your relationship with your primary care provideris one of the most important for your overall health. You should be able to trust your primary care provider with your most private health issues and concerns, and you should feel certain he or she is your partner in good health.
Because your primary care provideris the health expert that knows you best, it’s essential to find the right one for you. This doesn’t just mean finding a provider that accepts your insurance; instead, you should consider additional qualities, like their specialty, their experience and your comfort level with them.
How to find Dr. Right
Look for a health care provider when you're healthy. If you aren’t feeling well, you won't have the time or energy to carefully gather information about the qualifications or qualities of a new health care provider.
Consider what’s important to you. Don’t be shy about asking questions related to your care, including things like:
How can I reach you in an emergency?
Do you have flexible scheduling like same-day or walk-in appointments?
Will you or a nurse answer routine questions over the phone?
Who gives care for your patients in your absence?
What is your specialty?
You’ve found Dr. Right, now what?
Finding the right primary care provideris the first step toward lasting health. But it shouldn’t stop there. While you’re primary care providermay have the medical expertise, you and your family are an important part of the health care team. When you are actively involvedin your care, you’re ensuring the best health outcomes possible.
Here are 8 easy ways to be actively involvedduring your next appointment:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Not only is it important for you to address any concerns you may have, but many providers want you to ask questions.
Take notes. Before you got to your appointment, write down any questions or concerns you want to address at your appointment so you don’t forget. Also, if your provider offers information, make sure to write it down so you can remember it.
Ask for helpful resources. Nearly everyone is guilty of using WebMD at least once or twice, but when you’re in need of reliable health information, where should you search? Your provider can make suggestions of books, websites or other sources that are credible and helpful.
Make sure you understand. There is no doubt that health can be complicated and confusing. If something your provider is explaining doesn’t make sense, make sure to speak up and ask for clarification.
Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to mention any health concerns that you may have. By noting any irregularities that you’re experiencing, you will be able to identify and treat health conditions more quickly and effectively.
Don’t leave your history a mystery. It’s important to be open and honest about your health history and health concerns. Not only does your health history help to identify potential health risks, it also helps your provider determine your unique health needs moving forward.
You don’t have to go alone. Taking your spouse, a significant other, a relative or friend with you can be helpful. By having someone with you, they can help to remember questions and concerns, provide support and serve as a second set of ears for important health information.
Make sure your healthcare providers stay connected. In addition to your primary care provider, you will likely work with other specialists to address your various health needs. Make sure that your providers work together to stay up-to-date on all of your health information and needs.
Your journey to good health begins with Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Care.
With experienced and knowledgeable providers, as well as the latest in care and treatment options, GMG Primary Careoffers customized care tailored to suit your unique health care needs. As a part of the Gwinnett Medical Center family, GMG Primary Careserves as a gateway connecting you with an extensive array of resources and the area’s top specialists.