How to Choose a New Primary Care Doctor
Did you know that only 43% of millennials say they would go to a primary care provider (PCP) for non-emergency treatment? Instead of receiving routine preventative care, the majority of millennials are seeking out care on an as-needed basis, turning to walk-in clinics or emergency rooms when health issues arise.
While walk-in clinics are excellent resources for the quick diagnosis and treatment of ailments like cough, flu, and strep throat, these establishments were never intended to function as the primary source of health care for patients.
Walk-in clinics and emergency care facilities are designed to provide immediate care for specific, isolated health issues. They are not designed to provide holistic and preventative care that’s based on a patient’s unique personal and family medical history.
Patients Without a Primary Care Provider Are at a Disadvantage.
One of the primary benefits of having a primary care provider is that you have a health advocate – someone who knows your medical history and is able to provide care that takes your entire well-being into account. Patients who don’t have a PCP are doing themselves a disservice!
How to Find a Primary Care Provider…
Your health insurance plan may provide you with a list of physicians and practices that offer in-network primary care. Within this list, you could have dozens or even hundreds of choices. How do you narrow down your search to find the primary care doctor that’s right for you?
- Consider your family’s needs. If you have children, you may prefer to see a family practitioner who can accommodate all of your family’s health care needs, reducing the number of visits you have to make for annual exams and other needs. If you don’t have children and only need to consider your own health care needs, you may opt for an internal medicine provider.
- Visit the office and meet the physician. An in-person consultation is the best way to get to know a PCP. You should feel comfortable and respected in your physician’s office. Do the health care providers listen to you? Do they make an effort to provide care that aligns with your desires and preferences? Can you easily see your physician if you become sick, or is it only possible to see your doctor by scheduling months in advance?
- Consider location. “Location, location, location,” as the realtors say. Your PCP should be easy to access – one reason why we’ve made our home at the intersection of Green Hills, Sylvan Park and Belle Meade.
- Seek referrals. Talk to friends, family, co-workers, and other health specialists you may already be seeing. Take advantage of your personal network and seek advice from those whose opinion you respect!
- Consider hospital access. For some patients, it’s important that a primary care provider has privileges at certain local hospitals. Seeing a physician that has a good working relationship with your hospital of choice can be a tremendous benefit should you require care in the hospital setting.
Find a Primary Care Provider in Nashville
To find a primary care provider near you in Nashville, call St. Thomas Medical Group Department of Children and Adults at +1 (615) 301-7040. You can also make an appointment online.