Health Tips

How to Select a Primary Care Physician

A primary care provider (PCP) is a physician or nurse practitioner who is your health care partner. He or she will see you for routine check-ups, will help manage chronic illnesses, interpret test results and will treat you when you’re sick or injured.

“The relationship you have with your primary care provider is important in helping you establish a lifetime of health and wellness,” says Jessica Cassady, MD, a primary care specialist with TriHealth’s Queen City Physicians in Hyde Park. “That’s why it’s important to select a provider who best fits your needs and who makes you feel comfortable and confident in the care you are receiving.”

Here are some questions to consider to simplify the process of selecting a new PCP:

When starting your search for a new PCP … find out:

  • Which doctors are in my health insurance network?
  • Should I search for a doctor who has additional training in a particular area (e.g., sports medicine)?
  • Where is the provider located, and how far am I willing to travel for appointments?
  • Do they offer virtual care options such as telehealth or video visits?
  • Is the doctor connected to a fully-integrated health care system?

When making your first appointment … ask:

  • Is the doctor accepting new patients?
  • Are evening, weekend or virtual appointments available?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • How long do appointments usually last?
  • Are there any special instructions (e.g., should I be fasting for blood work, should I bring my medication bottles to appointments)?

When you’re at your first appointment … ask yourself:

  • Do I feel comfortable around the doctor?
  • Am I encouraged to ask questions?
  • Does the doctor take time to answer my questions?
  • Does the doctor explain things in a way I can understand?
  • Is my personal history taken into account when the doctor makes recommendations?
  • Did the doctor spend enough time with me?

To help with your search for a provider, TriHealth offers an online directory of primary care providers, or you can begin by calling 513 853 2100.

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