As millennials and Gen Z individuals move into adulthood, we’re seeing a wave of health consciousness sweep across the nation. People are eating healthier, exercising more, and are taking preventative health seriously.
A massive piece of the health puzzle is to make sure you have an outstanding medical provider at your side during and before health issues strike. Therein lies the value of connecting with an excellent family practitioner as early as possible.
Family medical practitioners are doctors that are focused on treating all members of a family for general health needs. If you have or are planning on starting a family soon, this post is for you!
In it, we walk you through a handful of qualities you should look for when searching for an excellent family doctor.
This goes without saying but anyone you’re considering that practices family medicine needs to be licensed to practice in your state. Believe it or not, there are providers out there that work private practices and don’t have proper licensure.
Working with these individuals not only puts your health at risk but enables the illegal practice of medicine. You can look up whether or not your physician is licensed through your state’s medical board.
2. No Disciplinary Actions on Record
While nobody should be judged by their mistakes, when it comes to your health, you might want to be scrupulous. When doctors make mistakes, these mistakes and resulting disciplinary actions are recorded by their governing medical board.
Those records are available for you to review.
In our opinion, a family practitioner that has had disciplinary actions taken against them is best avoided as there are probably other providers in your area with a clean record.
3. No Bad Press Attached to Their Name
Just because a family practitioner doesn’t have disciplinary action recorded against them via their medical board doesn’t mean they haven’t rubbed patients the wrong way. As a new patient, you have the right to know how a doctor is perceived by the people they’ve worked with in the past.
Discovering that is usually as simple as running their name through a search engine and seeing what comes up.
4. Outstanding Listeners
Among the many qualities you might want in your doctor, the ability to listen is perhaps the most important. Many medical providers are more focused on rubber stamping patients and collecting insurance payouts than they are with actually helping people which can leave you feeling like your concerns aren’t being appreciated.
Doctors should always give you the stage when you enter their practice and take ample time to hear you out and ask questions. From there, they should be able to formulate a plan of action that’s specific to your unique needs.
5. Close By
An ounce of prevention is often worth more than a pound of treatment. That old saying describes the importance of preventative medicine.
Practicing good medical prevention is as simple as checking in with your practitioners regularly for check-ups. Doing that is made a lot easier if your doctor works close by.
Our general recommendation is to go with a family medical practitioner, if possible, that’s within a 15-minute drive of your house. That will create conditions where you’re more likely to schedule appointments and less likely to cancel them because you’re not in the mood for a long commute.
6. Great About Ordering Tests
In some medical settings, physicians are incentivized to not order tests unless they’re absolutely necessary. The problem is that necessity varies from practitioner to practitioner.
Our take on tests is that nothing is more important than your health. For that reason, if a test could help, it should be ordered, even if it’s just to rule something out.
The family practitioner you choose should be on that same thought train so threatening illnesses never slip through the cracks.
7. A 360 Degree Approach to Health
Today’s medicine shouldn’t solely be about noting symptoms and prescribing treatments to dull them. It should be about managing health holistically.
A great physician not only prescribes medicine but encourages lifestyle changes. They challenge patients to exercise, to try natural treatments with no side-effects (when appropriate), and have an understanding of mental health.
Doctors should also have a great network of professionals they’re linked up with for referral purposes. For example, if a doctor feels you might be able to benefit from a nutritional evaluation, they should be able to facilitate your appointment with a nutritionist.
8. Always There When You Need Them
A doctor that’s not there to talk you off the ledge when you or a family member aren’t well is not a doctor worth having.
Always prioritize physicians that are available to help you when you need them. You should have the ability to email them and even shoot them a text message in the event of an emergency.
A Good Family Practitioner Enables an Outstanding Quality of Life
The value of a good family practitioner cannot be overstated when it comes to the health of a family. That’s why we hope you’ll take our practitioner sourcing tips to heart when you start to investigate which doctor might be best for you and your loved ones.
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to filtering through doctors, consider asking your insurance provider for suggestions. You might also take to popular review sites like Yelp or Google to come up with a shortlist of names.
Should you find yourself in need of additional guidance, we’re here for you! Our team uploads new content regularly related to health so feel free to dive in deeper to continue fulfilling your need to know.