Looking for a new family medicine center in Sioux City can be stressful. Whether you have just moved to the area or you are looking for a change, there are several factors that should go into your decision. You might not know where to start, but the doctors at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s are here to help! Find out what six tips these doctors recommend for choosing a new family health care provider.
Tip 1: Decide what physician qualities are essential to you.
Before you begin your search for a new provider, take time to write down qualities that are important to you in any physician. They can be qualities you appreciated in your last doctor, or personality traits you would like to avoid. Dr. Laura A. Danis, D.O., of UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine at Sergeant Bluff recommends keeping this in mind:
“Choosing a physician is a very personal decision, and attributes that are important to an individual may vary from person to person. However, I recommend finding a physician that has completed training and is board certified in family medicine or internal medicine. In addition, I recommend one that will take the time to listen to your personal concerns and explain treatment plans, medical decisions, and expectations.”
Tip 2: Consider major logistical and personal factors.
The location of your family health care center should also be an important factor in your decision-making. Is the provider located nearby? Do their hours work well with your family’s schedule? Will it be convenient to travel to the physician’s office at any time of day? The last thing any parent wants is the possibility of taking a sick child to the doctor during rush hour.
After meeting your prospective provider for the first time, it’s important to think about their personality and whether or not it will be a good match with yours. Do you feel like you can trust your provider? Do you feel comfortable talking to them about your concerns? Take mental notes about anything that raises a red flag as you search for a family practice in Sioux City.
Tip 3: Learn about their family health care services.
Some services may be more important to you than others. If you have a specific medical concern, make sure you address this with the new family medicine center. They may or may not be able to assist you depending on their qualifications. Ask your prospective doctor’s office who is available to answer any questions you may have about your health and if there will be someone available to respond to questions after-hours. A patient portal, like MyUnityPoint, is also a great service. Ask your clinic if they have a portal that can assist with questions, refills, appointments and lab results.
Tip 4: Look for warning signs.
While talking with your new provider, look for warning signs that they might not be a good fit for your family. Watch out for lack of eye contact and a failure to address your family’s health concerns. If you feel uncomfortable at all, it may be time to find another family practice.
Tip 5: Ask questions.
There are a few questions you should ask your provider to get to know them better. Dr. Dorothy J. Todt, M.D., of UnityPoint Clinic - Family and Internal Medicine at Sunnybrook recommends the following questions:
“You should ask what they like about their job. Do they have types of patients or conditions they prefer? Ask about specific conditions if you are looking for a physician to manage a certain problem.”
Tip 6: Schedule an interview.
Most people don’t know it, but it is possible to schedule an interview with a perspective provider at a family medicine center in Sioux City. Some doctors recommend interviews, but some don’t. While interviews can be helpful, Dr. Danis says they aren’t necessarily a good predictor of how a provider will care for your health and does not believe that interviews with possible doctors will help your decision.
“Keep in mind that physicians won’t be able to discuss your medical history during an interview. However, I do think interviews can be helpful to see if the physician's personality is a good fit for you.”
As you begin the process of choosing a new provider, save yourself some searching by using the Find A Doctor tool. It can find a physician by name, specialty or address, and you can even search for specific clinics. Your family provider is an important aspect of your loved ones’ health. Choosing a provider is ultimately your decision. Don’t be afraid to try different providers until you find one that is right for you.