Medical Care 101: How to Find the Right Family Doctor

by Head Health Nutter on May 15, 2015

Are you comfortable with your family doc? Maybe you’re in between doctors right now. If you are, you’ll definitely appreciate today’s guest article by Lizzie Weakley!

There are many healthcare decisions that can make a big impact on a person’s family. One of these is who to choose as a primary care physician. Below is some advice you can use to find the right family doctor.

Medical Care 101 How to Find the Right Family Doctor

1. Your Insurance

According to Nueterra, a leader in the development of surgical hospitals, healthcare costs are expected to skyrocket through 2015. If you want to be able to afford healthcare, you must absolutely purchase a health insurance plan.

Your health insurance plan will also be what guides your search for a family doctor. In the United States, most insurance companies have a network of physicians who are covered under their plans. If you have an HMO, for example, you must absolutely choose a physician who is part of the network. Not doing so could lead to your health insurance company refusing to cover any of the costs. So always make sure a candidate for your family doctor is covered under your insurance before you consider him or her more seriously.

2. Choose the Right Kind of Practice

The next step of selecting a primary care physician is choosing a doctor with a practice designed to best suit your needs. In general, there are three different kinds of medical practices. These are family practices, internal medicine practices and general practices.

A doctor working at a family practice is qualified to treat patients of any age including children and babies. If your family includes children, a family practice is probably the best option. Internal medicine doctors are best for patients with specific chronic diseases that require more expertise.

Lastly, there are general practices. General practices are very similar to family doctors in that the doctors that work in them are probably qualified to work with any age group or gender. However, they don’t specialize in treating children specifically, and some general practices may employ doctors of osteopathic medicine. Osteopathy is a form of alternative medicine used to treat musculoskeletal problems.

3. Ask for Referrals

You need to find a doctor you are comfortable with. One way to make that easier is by using referrals from family members, friends, co-workers or other doctors. This way you can rest easier knowing that someone you trust thinks that doctor is competent enough to care for your family’s health.

Overall, choosing a primary care physician for you and your family is a serious decision. Don’t take it lightly. Make sure your final choice is an informed one.

About the Author

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

When I needed to find a doctor shortly after I moved, I took my mom’s doctor because, not only did she have the most excellent bedside manner, she really listened to issues and she always tried natural solutions first before trying something synthetic. What would you look for most in a new doctor?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kael Drake December 2, 2015 at 7:39 pm

My family and I recently moved, and we’ve been looking for a new doctor. Sometimes it can be hard to find a good doctor, so I really like your tips for making it easier. I especially like the idea to ask for referrals from people that you know. If a person likes their doctor, they’ll happily recommend him! I’ll ask around at work to see if anyone has a good family doctor. Thanks for the tip!


Lillian Schaeffer March 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm

This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that general practice physicians can work with most age groups and genders. My family is relocating for my husband’s job, so I need to find a new physician to take care of us. None of us have chronic diseases that require any extra expertise, so I’ll definitely look into choosing a general practice doctor. Thanks for the great post!


Justin Knox March 8, 2016 at 9:19 am

Thank you for the help. My family and I just moved and we are looking for a new general physician. It sounds like just finding a general practice could be sufficient for us. How should I determine between a general or family practice?


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