Sutter Health Plus News & Trends

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Steps to Choosing the Right Physician

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Access

Female doctor examining a patient

Selecting the right PCP is a serious decision and a big step toward better health for members.

At Sutter Health Plus, we believe in partnering with employers and employees to create a healthier, more productive workforce. For members, this partnership often begins with selecting a primary care physician, called a PCP.

Selecting a good PCP is one of the best things members can do for their health, and we have a great pool of physicians from which to choose. While some providers see patients in private offices, many practice at conveniently located care centers that house a variety of services—such as laboratory, X-ray, radiology, physical therapy and urgent care services.

A PCP is a partner in health who knows the patient’s personal medical background, encourages healthy lifestyle choices, performs exams and schedules screening tests to help prevent or detect diseases.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a PCP, including experience, specialties and interests, personality and overall approach to providing care. Here are a few things to think about when making this decision:

  • What kind of doc do you need? PCPs typically specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology or pediatrics. Think about your primary health issues and concerns and choose a doctor who can best meet your needs. Consider whether you’d be more comfortable with a man or a woman doctor, or if you need a doctor who understands your culture or speaks your native language.
  • Will the relationship last? Your PCP should know your health history and understand what’s important to you. A long-term relationship is best, so choose someone who inspires your trust and makes you feel comfortable.
  • Location, location, location. Is the doctor close to your home or work? What location will work best for appointments during the day?
  • Do you prefer online services? Does the doctor use electronic health records for optimal coordination of your care? Will you have access to online services so you can easily view test results, renew prescriptions, request appointments and email your doctor?

Choosing the right PCP is a big step toward better health for members. For employers, this translates into healthier employees and a more productive workforce.