Thursday, July 25, 2013

How a doctor finds a PCP

I have been with my PCP for a few years. This is how I found her:

1) Located a reputable practice nearby

2) Located at list of practice's physicians and their photos

3) Picked out female doctor who "seemed nice"

4) Googled her to make sure nothing horrible was written

And that's it.

How did you choose your PCP?


  1. When we get to a new area I call the insurance company and ask them to assign me a PCP (military) who can see myself and my children and who is female. They give me a few names, I go look them up and pick one who 1. has a picture up and 2. looks like my teen and pre teen would feel comfortable talking to about birth control, etc. if they felt they couldn't talk to me. Actually when I've explained my request to the people assigning me to a Dr. they have been pretty spot on. There are a lot of things I don't like about the military-Tricare is something they did right as far as I'm concerned.

  2. When we moved here, I asked friends with similar outlooks for recommendations (which meant NOT asking my in-laws...), then googled the doctors- sex did not matter to me. I also wanted a PCP who would do OB care and babies, as we were hoping for another one (which we got), and I liked the idea of seeing just one doctor for all care.

  3. The best advice I can give you about choosing a PCP is ask a nurse who works at the hospital. While other physicians will know about their colleagues medical management skills, hospital nurses will know about bedside manner and other intangibles.

  4. As an older male, I look for a PCP that has small fingers

  5. Since I got spayed I no longer care about birth control, and my specialist gyn is taking care of all the girly bits stuff anyways.

    I found my first PCP by scrolling through the lists on my insurance website and finding one that was close enough I could get to on my bike (I don't have a car) and was accepting new patients. When she finished her residency this past month, I asked around and one of my friends gave me a recommendation for a guy just around the corner from me that he had been seeing for years. My first appointment is in two hours.

  6. How do you determine a "reputable practice"?

  7. I got on my insurance network and called the closest office to see who could get me in before my shift started. Mastitis doesn't stop me from seeing patients! She was knowledgeable about breastfeeding and had cute kids so why not stay?

  8. As a diabetic, I wanted a PCP who was more familiar with diabetes management (I didn't want to go to a separate endocrinologist) and I wanted a PCP who was supportive of ketogenic diets. I found the one I see now through her website and then I just had to verify she was contracted with my insurance. She is not only familiar with what I need, but is a diabetic herself and she eats a ketogenic diet. She is also a good general PCP.

  9. My PCP has been my doctor for 28 years (since I was a teen). But I ask my nurse friends and doctor friends for recommendations for everybody else I need to see.

  10. I called my insurance and asked for a recommended list of places within walking distance. When I called the first one, the receptionist asked what insurance I had, and then immediately told me, "Oh honey, with that insurance you don't want this place, you have to go somewhere nicer." She recommended a place and I've been there for 12 years.

  11. PCP:
    1. Open newspaper
    2. See rare ad for new male doctor in my area
    3. Call office that same minute because chances are you'll be waitlisted by the time your workday ends.
    4. Be interviewed by doctor
    5. WOO! Only took two years this attempt!

    Initial Criteria:
    - In my city
    - Accessible by transit
    - Male

    Post-Appointment Criteria:
    - not an asshole
    - nothing skeevy online

    In Canada you do things backwards. You find the family doctor first, make an appointment, AND THEN make sure they're nice and without poor reputation. Doing it the other way would pretty much guarantee you end up waitlisted.

  12. I'm not a doctor, but
    1st try: Referral from my ob/gyn. That was a disaster. Several other nurse and specialist friends have recommended him since then, so maybe he's good. I think we just didn't communicate well. I could tell when I was speaking to him that he wasn't hearing what I was saying.
    2nd try: Recommended by several friends. I didn't get to see the doctor I requested, and then the office proved to be incompetent. Lost labs, lost paperwork, etc. Almost gave up and began seeing Ear, Nose, & Throat for everything. My ENT is particularly fantastic.
    3rd try: Success! Recommended by one person. Fantastic practice, fantastic doctor, fantastic office staff, equipped to meet my needs. Later I learned it seems like all my most like-minded friends see him. I hope he never retires or dies.

  13. A good friend of mine is a doctor. I don't go to him, because that would be weird, but he recommended the PCP he uses.

  14. When we were searching we eliminated practices based on the office staff. The staff, nurses and front office, that greeted us warmly ended up where we continued going. The doctors were kind and just as important, competent as well. We were temporarily on Medicaid due to a job loss, and had the state sponsored children's insurance too. Fast forward 5 years and we're doing quite well, gainfully employed, but I'll always remember how poorly we were treated due to our limited financial resources.

  15. When I started my practice just out of residency there was only one other female physician at our clinic, so it was an easy choice! My male partners are great, but they don't need to see that part of my anatomy.

  16. 1) For those who said - ask a nurse - you are right! However, that won't work so well for PCPs any more, just specialists, because hospital nurses don't have the same contacts with PCPs that we used to. Around here, hospitalists have taken over that role. Maybe if you ask a home health nurse.

    2) For me, it worked when I took my elderly mom to her first appt with a new PCP. He was new in practice and I wanted to check him out. He treated my mother with such kindness and respect, I was hooked. Plus, he treated me like a colleague, not a dummy. I have been with him for over 15 years. TCG

  17. ALWAYS LOOK UP THEIR MEDICAL LICENSE! Seriously about 5-15% of doctors will have a great rating and an active medical license plus board certification, but they will have something terrible on their medical license (like doing surgery drunk or failing to send someone with blood sugar of 700 to the ER). So, check the state medical board website. That's all I have to say.

  18. I was "inherited" by my ob/gyn when my previous one retired. He's smart and thorough and funny. Had an internal medicine practice before deciding that he wanted to deliver babies & went back to school. He listens. Answers questions. Treats me like an intelligent human being. Takes phone call & has been known to call me with questions or lab results himself.

    When I got fed up with my female PCP's controlling style, I asked him if he'd take on that role for me. Fortunately, he agreed.

    Did I mention that everyone on his staff is pleasant, capable and helpful? He runs a very patient-friendly office.

  19. I check online to see where they got their degrees and what languages they speak. International is fine but some countries or languages suggest I might have communication problems. I might overlook that for a specialist but not a PCP.