A primary care doctor is a doctor who provides not only routine primary care to an individual with an undiagnosed medical condition, but continuing care of a variety of medical conditions, not confined by diagnosis, organ system, or disease. The word primary care is most commonly used in the United States. The primary care practitioner also sees children and pregnant women. The primary care doctor can be a pediatrician or family practitioner.
Most primary care doctors perform annual physicals and get routine x-rays on a yearly basis. In order to become one of the more popular primary care doctors, you will need to complete either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree program in general medical practices. You will also need to have taken part in at least five or six internships in a medical setting. After completing your training, you will need to pass a licensing exam. Some states require that licensed graduates complete one or two years of residency in an onsite hospital or similar structure while others do not.
During your residency, you will learn how to diagnose a variety of healthcare issues, how to create a health care plan, and how to administer various healthcare products and procedures. A primary care doctor will generally refer their patients to a specialist after the initial visit. Specialists include dermatologists, internal medicine doctors, and orthopedic surgeons. It is important for you to feel comfortable with your primary care physician and his or her staff. Learn more about Frisco Family Physician here.
When interviewing prospective primary care doctors, it is important that you find someone with whom you can build a good rapport. You should ask about their background, the types of insurance they receive, their personality, and if they will hire off-site associates and send them to your office for various services. You will also want to consider their education and whether or not they hold certification from certain entities such as the American Board of Medical Specialties. Many physicians will have letters of recommendation from their previous patients on hand.
The second step to hiring a medical home is to determine what kind of primary care doctor you need. If you are looking for a doctor for inpatient care, then a geriatrician will be your best choice. If you are looking for medical issues, then a cardiologist would be a better choice. If you have special needs, then a psychiatrist would be a better choice.
Once you have decided who you wish to be treated by, you can start looking at the specific services offered. You will need to decide between inpatient visits and outpatient visits. If you often visit your primary care physicians for out-of-network doctor visits, then you will need to decide between inpatient and outpatient care. Once you have established a regular schedule between your primary care physicians, then you can look into the costs of your care. Some health insurance plans will allow you to choose a specific doctor you like for inpatient visits. Others will allow you to choose out of network care visits, so you will need to call your health plan’s information department to find out if you can choose which doctors you see and when.
Next, you will want to establish open communication with your primary care doctor. Ask them about their practices and their philosophies for treating patients. You will want to know when you can expect to receive your next scheduled visit, what will happen if you are not treated on time, and what are the common costs associated with the care you receive. Open communication is the best way to prevent missteps and avoid unnecessary health care costs.
After establishing open communication, you can start looking at the specifics of your treatment. You may want to choose from the list of services that your primary care physicians provide. You can also request certain services you believe you need and look at the average cost for those services. You can then work out a plan with your physician to make sure you are receiving all of the services and the treatments you need.