A toothbrush

Choosing a Family Doctor

January 9, 2017

In Canada and other North American countries, more than half the visits to doctors involve visits to primary health care doctors. These doctors, also fondly called family doctors, diagnose and treat common ailments like a sore throat, flu, and fever. But they also treat chronic sicknesses like high blood pressure and diabetes. Family doctors help their patients to live healthier lifestyles by eating a proper diet and following an exercise routine. If you need to get a reliable family doctor to take care of you and your family, here are some of the steps you should take.

A toothbrush

Start Searching Before an Emergency

It is better to look for a family doctor before you need to see one urgently. When you fall ill, you will not be in the best position to make a sound decision about where to find top-notch medical care. Make a list of some of the vital factors that will influence your choice of family physician. The type of health insurance you have, the amount you can pay for out-of-pocket expenses, and the distance you can travel to see your doctor should be top priorities. Other factors include: the need for a specialist, the gender of the doctor, and the most convenient time for you to meet the doctor (e.g. do you prefer weekends to weekdays?)

Obtain a List of Doctors

Get in touch with the local chapter of the Canadian Medical Association. For instance, to obtain a list of the family doctors Montreal has, you can search for the phone numbers of the local branch and call or send an email to the national office to get relevant details for your locality. You may also visit their website and find a list of family physicians that practice close to your residence. If you have a managed care plan you will have to choose from a list of doctors who are part of the network of the insurance plan.

In addition, talk with people living within and around your community. Ask them about reputable family doctors that have treated them and why they prefer to go them. You may also ask medical personnel, like doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists, to tell you who they will like to take their parents or children to. After you obtain a list of doctors and their contact details, get prepared to do a few short interviews.

Call the Doctors and Ask Questions

Call up each doctor and ask questions to know if you can build a trusted relationship with him or her. In some cases, you may be able to schedule a face-to-face appointment with them. This will give you a chance to interact with their office staff and observe the way they treat patients. As you interview your potential family doctor, find out where the doctor plans to treat patients, ask if the doctor will accept your current health insurance coverage and whether the hospital will accept payment by credit card.

You should also find it about their capacity to handle emergencies and their availability at night and on weekends. Find out if you will be able to get medical advice or assistance on the phone, or if they will answer questions sent by email. Finally, ask about the doctor’s qualification and certification, which indicates that they are specialists in a particular field. For instance, the Family doctors Vancouver allows to practice are meant to be certified by the College of Family Physicians in Canada. Make sure you enjoy conversing with the person so you can develop a long-term relationship with your family doctor.

After you have applied these tips and ideas to choose your family doctor, take some time to build a relationship your physician. Hopefully, you will be able to select one that will consistently meet the healthcare needs of your entire family.

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