Top Tips for Choosing a PCP or Specialist

Find out how to select a doctor that best fits your needs.

A primary care provider, or PCP, helps you maintain health and prevent illness and, when necessary, refers you to an expert on specific conditions – a specialist. PCPs include:

  • Family practitioners
  • Internists
  • Nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA)
  • Pediatricians
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists

Together, you, your PCP and specialists form a team that looks out for your health. In honor of National Doctors Day, March 30, learn how to find the right ones for you:

Know yourself.
Your individual needs and preferences play a vital role in your selection. If you have chronic symptoms or a family history of a particular condition, or if you prefer a doctor of a particular gender so you can speak more comfortably about your personal health, hone in on those criteria during your search.

Ask people you trust.

  • Close friends or family may provide both positive and negative experiences with doctors in the area.
  • A previous provider may be able to match your needs with the skills of a new doctor.
  • Health care plans often provide directories to assist you.
  • Many chronic condition or diseases have support organizations that recommend experts.

Get the facts.
Once you've identified a PCP or specialist who is accepting new patients, a quick internet search can tell you how much experience he or she has. Next, call the office to verify information that matters to you. Don't be afraid to ask questions. These might include:

  • What kind of wait time is typical?
  • Is the doctor easy to access during office hours?
  • What kind of after-hours service do they provide?

If you don't like an answer, continue your search.

Meet and greet.
Your first appointment is key. Your doctor's manner, the courtesy of support staff and how comfortable you feel discussing your medical issues will tell you if you can forge a long-term partnership. Sometimes visiting multiple doctors is required before finding the right one; it's worth the effort!

Start your search right by contacting Denton Regional Medical Center. Visit our website to find out more about all of the services we provide or call us at (855) 477-DRMC (3762) for a physician referral.

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