Tips to help you in your search
Whether you go to the doctor rarely or often, you should like and trust yours. After all, your primary care doctor is the one who will know you and your health best and refer you to other doctors when you need more specialized care. So having a good relationship is key. Here are a few tips to help in your search for a doctor:
Make sure your doctor is part of your plan. You’ll pay less out of pocket for your visits and usually, preventive care will be covered at 100% when you see a doctor in your health plan.
Find a doctor that meets your needs. There are several different types of doctor that can act as primary care doctors.
- Family practice — They offer a wide range of care, from checkups to pregnancy care. This type of doctor might be a good choice if you want to keep all of your family “under one roof.” A doctor who treats everyone in a family can get a better view of each person’s health.
- Internal medicine — Internal medicine doctors offer a range of care, including preventive care. But they may have special knowledge about certain health problems. So if you have a long-term health concern, an internist who focuses on your problem may be a good fit for you.
- General practice — General practice doctors are like family practice doctors and can treat patients of any gender or age.
Ask for referrals. Talk to family and friends to see if they can recommend a doctor they trust to you. Just make sure they’re part of your health plan.
Plan ahead. Do you want a doctor located close to your home or office? On anthem.com you can search for doctors by location to make sure they’re near you. You may also want to think about office hours, what hospital the doctor admits patients to, the languages they speak and if they use email or the internet to communicate with patients.
Getting ready for your first appointment
To make the most of your visit, gather some information about your health before you go. This can help both you and your doctor. Before your visit, write down:
- Your health history and your family’s
- Any medicines you take, how much you take and how often (include vitamins and over-the-counter drugs)
- Concerns you have about your health
What to expect from a preventive care visit
Most preventive exams start with a talk about your health history and any problems. Then you’ll discuss things like:
- Medicines you take
- Your current eating habits and how to improve them
- How active you are — and whether you should be more active
- Stress in your life or signs of depression
- Screenings, tests or vaccines you may need based on your age and gender
Finding a good fit
It may take time to find a doctor you feel comfortable with. That’s OK! You want to “click” with your doctor since regular checkups can help find problems before they start or early on, when your chances for treatment are better.2 If you’re not happy with your first choice, you can usually change your primary care doctor anytime.