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Tips for finding a primary care doctor

Dr. Ibrahim

Having a primary care physician has become standard in today's society.  Your primary care doctor can be a family practioner who is trained during their family practice residency to care for children, pregnant women and adults.  Your family doctor may also be an internist, who studied internal medicine, and only cares for adults.  In some instances, nurse practioners and physician assistants can be the main person you see for your health care.  Being located in Millsboro, Delaware, I've had the opportunity to work with and along side some great nurse practioners, family practice doctors, as well as other internist.   

Some key points to remember about choosing a primary care doctor is:

1.  Location, location, location.  No one wants to drive and hour to have to get a check-up!  For me, I find that my community of patients come from Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Millsboro, Seaford, Ocean View, Dagsboro, Milford and even as far north as Dover!

2.  Time.  How much time do they spend with you?  You want a family doctor who takes more than 5 minutes to listen to you and examine you.  You shouldn't feel like your going through a revolving door or just a number in an assembly line of people coming in and out.

3.  Compassion.  Does your primary care doctor try and understand how you're feeling?  Do they go above and beyond to make you feel cared for and important?

4. Communication.  Are you able to get a hold of your medical doctor or do you always speak to a nurse of receptionist?  Do your calls get returned quickly and your questions answered thoroughly?

5.  Your Satisfaction.  Whether or not you see an internal medicine doctor like myself, family practice physician, or a nurse practioner, make sure you're satisfied with the care you receive.  Make sure your time is valued and all your health care needs are met.  If not brought up by your primary care doctor, consider asking about preventative care measures, screenings based on age and history, medications and side effects as well as complications of medical disease.

Your primary care doctor needs to be your first line of defense for good health.  Choose wisely.