How To Choose A Primary Care Physician – And What To Avoid

Choosing a primary health care physician is an important decision. You want to find a doctor who will be your partner throughout your life, and you want to feel comfortable with this person. A good way to choose a primary care doctor is to look for someone who shares your values and has similar interests. If you have any health concerns, this physician should be able to answer all of your questions and offer guidance on how to stay healthy.

Here are some tips on how to choose a primary care doctor:

  • Ask family members and friends for recommendations

If they have had good experiences with their doctors, they may be able to give you some names. Ask them what qualities they look for in their doctors so that you can compare these qualities with those of potential candidates.

  • Look into online reviews

Sites like Yelp offer crowdsourced ratings of primary care Atlanta doctors and other healthcare providers. These reviews can give you an idea of what patients have liked (or disliked) about certain doctors and practices.

  • Check credentials & licenses

Make sure any potential primary care doctor has all the necessary qualifications for practicing medicine in your state — this includes board certification in family practice or another specialty related to primary care (such as internal medicine). It’s also important that your primary health care physician is licensed in your state; otherwise, he or she won’t be able to provide care for you during visits outside the office setting.

  • Look for experience

Primary care doctors who have been practicing medicine for 10 or more years tend to be more experienced and better at diagnosing illnesses and treating them. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, doctors with fewer than five years of experience should not be considered for long-term care needs because they may lack the expertise needed for complex cases.

  • How long has this doctor been practicing in the area?

If the primary health care physician has been practicing in the same location for many years, it’s more likely he or she has built up a loyal following of patients and can offer quality care over time.

  • Is this doctor affiliated with my insurance company?

If so, it’s less likely that you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket expenses for office visits, tests, or procedures. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover preventative services without cost-sharing (co-pays or deductibles). However, if you’re not sure whether your plan covers these services, check with your insurance company first!

  • Location & hours of operation

If you work full-time and have small children, it’s probably not feasible to make an appointment after work hours or on weekends — unless it’s an emergency situation! Availability of evening hours can be another important consideration if you work nights or odd shifts that change every week (such as nurses).

  • Ask around

If you have friends who’ve recently switched doctors, ask them about their experiences. Ask them if they had any issues with their previous doctor and what made them decide to switch providers. If you don’t know anyone who has recently changed physicians, ask trusted family members for recommendations.

  • Make sure they have time to see you

Your primary care Atlanta doctor should have enough time in their schedule to see you if necessary, whether it’s an urgent situation or a routine check-up. If they don’t have time, they may refer you to another doctor who does. Make sure the practice has an appointment system, so you don’t have to wait too long if one of their doctors is out of town or otherwise unavailable.

  • Visit multiple offices before deciding on one doctor in particular

primary care doctor

Visit clinics during different times of day to check out staffing levels and wait times. Some doctors are better suited for morning appointments, while others are better suited for afternoon appointments or evenings after 5 p.m., when there may be fewer patients waiting for appointments.

  • Is their office clean?

This might seem like an odd question to ask about a primary care Atlanta doctor’s office, but it’s an important one! If the office isn’t clean, it could indicate that other things aren’t being handled properly either (like medical records). A clean office is also an indication of good hygiene practices by staff members — which helps ensure patient safety as well as keep down costs for the practice itself (since less time will need to be spent treating infections).

What To Avoid When Choose A Primary Health Care Physician

Choosing a primary care doctor is more complicated than it seems. Here are some things to avoid when choosing a primary care physician:

Avoid choosing a doctor based on convenience. Think about your schedule, but don’t choose a doctor just because he or she is close to your home or office.

Avoid choosing a doctor based on price. You may think that choosing the most affordable doctor is best, but you could end up with poor service and treatment. Instead, look at websites like and to find out how primary care Atlanta doctors rank by patients’ reviews of their experience with them.

Avoid choosing a doctor who is not accepting new patients in your insurance plan’s network. If you want to stay with your current insurance provider, then make sure the physician accepts those plans before scheduling an appointment with them.

The Bottomline:

Choosing a primary health care physician is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. It’s important not only to you but also to your family and friends. No doubt, it can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to a community or are switching insurance plans. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, location, office hours, and more. When choosing a primary care doctor, it’s important to consider what kind of medical care you’re looking for.

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