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How do I find the right primary care physician? The key to good health is finding the right doctor. What may be good for a friend or family member may not be good for you. Begin looking for your primary care physician before you get sick. Don't be rushed into choosing someone when you are too sick to make a good decision.
Your primary care doctor should be located somewhere that is convenient for you-near your home or work, for example.
Tips to help you find the primary care physician that's best for you:
- Find out what the doctor's office hours are. For example, if Saturday hours are important to you, make sure the doctor you choose offers them.
- Ask about the doctor's policies regarding appointments and emergencies.
- Find out about the doctor's specialties. Primary care physicians can have special interests. Certain doctors may emphasize treating sports injuries or diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure, for example.
- If possible, meet with the doctor before making your final decision.
What can I do to make the most of medical appointments?
Be prepared! If you have questions that you want to have answered by your physician, write them down before your appointment. Keep a record of all of your immunizations, medications, test dates and results.
Always be honest with your physician. Nobody knows your body better than you do. Be sure to tell your physician if you aren't feeling well. Don't be embarrassed to discuss problems with your doctor. Everything you say is confidential.
Be aware. Your primary care physician will monitor your health and recommend appropriate prevention measures, but ultimately you are responsible for your well-being. Make sure to schedule regular checkups and be aware of your family medical history as well as the risk factors for common illnesses such as heart disease.
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