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Calizzy

What to look for when choosing family physician?

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We are in the market for a new family physician. I have been unhappy with mine because she is too hard to get ahold of. When I call and leave a message I never get a call back. I want to use Adventhealth, so I looked at providers in my area- there are physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, MDs and DOs. I thought I wanted an md, not sure why, just sounds good. So I looked at the list- one lady had great reviews but she is 60. I have no problem with an older doctor- in fact I prefer it, but I don’t want her retire in a few years and I have to look again. Another lady seems exactly my age. I would prefer someone older than me. I would just like someone who has been through my life stage and can relate. I though I found the perfect one, 40’s and mother of 4. But when I called they said she only works 2 day/week. Since my current complaint is that my dr is hard to get ahold of, someone who only worksm2 days/ weeks doesn’t seem like a good idea. Am I being too picky? Should I look at DO’s? Any suggestion at what to look for?

Edited by Calizzy

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I have had good care from all types of providers you mentioned, as well as mediocre care.  It's been very much an individual thing.  Can you ask around among your local friends and acquaintances for recommendations?  I'd do that and also find out who works full time, since that's important to you.  

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I have a friend who is a Dr and mother of 5 who worked 2 days a week, but her husband worked 4 days at the same practice, so it might be worth trying her out. I resisted Drs younger than me, but I also don't want them retiring while I still need them, soooo, when my ob retires I'm going to bite the bullet and find a nice, young medical professional. My one condition is that they have family in the area. We went through a long string of pediatricians who all moved "closer to family". I say just start trying them. The ones your friends rave about won't be taking new patients anyway (oops, bitterness!)

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We have always used doctors that belonged to a group. That way I could make appointments with a specific doctor if I didn’t mind waiting, but there was always someone available for same day “sick” appointments.

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Does the lady that appeals to you work in a practice so that if there was an emergency someone else would fill in for her?  

For 20 years we had a FNP as our primary.  Loved that.   Now we have a female MD.   My friend who used to work in the practice suggested her as the best fit for my family and my girls LOVE her nurse.... seriously.  That is huge for kids with special needs 

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3 hours ago, Calizzy said:

Am I being too picky?  

Yes, lol. 

I wouldn't worry the slightest little bit about the age of my medical provider. The doctor who is 60 might retire in 5 years, the doctor who is 40 might move in 2 years, any of them might drop off of your insurance at any time. It's not worth considering imo. 

Edited by katilac

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Good point.  Our pediatrician quit at 50 to go back to graduate school in psychology.  You never know.  

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Take a look on how the office staff functions.  I know some think it is bad to look at the staff but if the staff can’t perform well, I do look at the doctor and wonder about them.  
 

My list for any doctor- 

-Can I leave messages and you will return the call and not always say, come in and we will discuss it.   We ran into one practice when asking questions that were just clarifying things, always said make an appointment and we will discuss it. 

-When one is sick and needs to be seen, can I get an appointment in a reasonable time?  I left a practice that avg a week for a sick appointment.

 

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I adore my GP. I know that she is quite rare, but this is what I like in her....

- she doesn’t belong to a big group. She runs her own practice her own way. 
-she doesn’t overbook appointments. 
- she is smart and is not a box checker. She listens to my symptoms and she knows my history and she looks at me holistically. Did I say she listens to me? She takes the time to look at me and understand me and she listens. She’s never in a rush.

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For full disclosure - I found our dr purely by accident. He is pediatrician and family practitioner. If i was looking for a new one  right now, I would want to "interview" them bc I realized that I need a doctor, for myself and my kids, that will let me speak my mind and will actually listen to me AND my kids.

Office hours are important. Methods of communication are important to me too. I know that many people like and sometimes prefer to deal with nurses and NPs - I am not one of them, I like having access to our doctor. And I do.

Oh and my OBGYN, who I also found purely by accident spent 2 hrs on the phone with me BEFORE I became her patient. To me, it said volumes about what kind of dr she is!

 

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