How to choose a primary care physician
To maintain your best health, Banner Network Colorado recommends you choose a primary care physician and establish a relationship with him or her. This person will be your health advocate, helping you to prevent illness, manage chronic health conditions and responding when you are ill or injured. They can also connect you with a specialist when needed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a primary care physician:
- Is it more convenient to choose a physician near work, near school or near home? Consider the time of day you usually see your physician.
- What type of physician would work best for me? Often, good choices for primary care include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Geriatrics/Pediatrics for seniors/kids.
- Do I want to use the same physician for my whole family? Typically, Family Medicine is the best choice if you are looking for a practice that treats kids and adults.
- Does the office offer extended hours? Is seeing a doctor early or late in the day important to me? What about Saturdays?
- Does this physician offer conveniences that are important to me? Will the office remind me of my annual check-up? Can I schedule an appointment online?
- Does this physician offer services in the language I feel most comfortable with? Understanding your physician, and having them understand you, is vital.
- Was the physician’s office staff friendly and helpful when I called?
- Does this physician accept my insurance plan?
Questions to ask the physician’s office:
- Is the physician board-certified? In what area?
- Who provides coverage for the physician when he/she is out of town or unavailable?
- Is the provider knowledgeable about my chronic health condition(s)? This is especially important when the condition is unusual or serious (following an organ transplant, for example).
- Does the office offer same-day appointments when I’m ill?
Next, schedule a first check-up with the physician. Is this someone that you connected with? Developing a partnership with your physician is an investment in your good health. You may have to talk with more than one physician before you find the right fit for you and your family.
Need help finding a physician? Call Banner Network Colorado’s Service Center at (970) 346-3700.