Tips for finding the right primary care physician

GEHA | October 8, 2020

everyday health
It is important to have regular check-ups with your primary care physician. Think of it like a tune-up for your body.

A primary care physician is a doctor who can see patients for a variety of concerns. If a primary care physician discovers something that needs a deeper look or more expertise, he or she may consult with or refer you to a specialist, a doctor who specializes in a specific part of the body.

Primary care physicians can offer early detection and treatment of conditions, chronic disease management and preventive care. You can go to them for a flu shot, blood pressure screening or basic cancer screening. A good primary care physician will treat all of you, taking your medical history and current condition into consideration, but also your values, beliefs and preferences.

When searching for a primary care physician, ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Visit the doctor’s office and see if you feel comfortable in the waiting room. Have they put the proper COVID-19 precautions in place? Does the office offer counseling services, lab work or X-rays? Are there weekend hours? Finally, how comfortable did you feel talking to the staff? Is the office a welcoming environment?

Don’t forget, you can use GEHA’s Find Care tool to locate an in-network provider near you.


Sources:
“Choosing a Doctor: Quick Tips.” health.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 24 July, 2020..
“How to Choose a Doctor You Can Talk To.” nia.nih.gov, National Institute on Aging, 1 February, 2020.
“Why Do You Need a Primary Care Physician?” health.harvard.edu, Harvard Medical School, 19 August, 2019.