Your first visit with your new PCP is your chance to see if this doctor and his practice are right for you. It’s always a good practice to make a list of your questions and concerns before any visit with a doctor, but there are a few more to have answered as well as some observations to make during this initial visit. In this post I’ll mention some of them, and on the next I’ll talk about some observations you should make. So before you go, make that list and be sure to take it with you:
Questions to Ask
· What’s the waiting time for a routine appointment? These are typically non-urgent follow-up visits for chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
· How does the doctor handle acute illnesses like sore throats, the flu or back pain? Can you have an appointment the same day you call or will you be sent to an emergency room or urgent care center? Remember most insurance requires you to pay a higher copay when you use an emergency room instead of going to a doctor’s office.
· Are his office hours flexible enough for your schedule?
· How does the doctor handle calls after hours? Does he have other doctors with whom he shares call?
· Which hospital does the doctor use? Is it convenient for you should you need hospitalization?
As you get these answered, you’ll have a chance to gauge how well your new doctor relates to you and you to him. In my next post I’ll mention the kinds of things you will want to look for at the doctor’s office.
For Your Health – Dr. Bob