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Finding a doctor for your family

Paoli Hospital August 19, 2016 General Wellness

Many people rely on recommendations from friends and relatives for restaurants or travel destinations, but choosing a doctor for your family is a personal decision. Your health history, insurance, and health issues are all unique factors, so choosing a doctor that fits your needs is important. Before you choose a doctor, do your research to be sure it’s the right fit for you.

Finding a doctor for: your child

Pediatricians often care for children long past their infant and toddler stages, but that doesn’t mean that kids are comfortable being the tallest in the waiting room. Once your child begins to reach their early or late teens, they may feel more comfortable visiting and asking questions of a family doctor.

“Keep in mind, if your child has a rare condition or disability, you’ll want to find a specialist or doctor who is comfortable caring for these needs,” says Dr. Carol Henwood, family practice physician at Paoli Hospital.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your pediatrician for a referral, since they are familiar with your child’s health history and will be able to make the transition a smooth one.

Finding a doctor for: your parent

If you are caring for an aging parent, it’s important to be sure they have the right doctor who will best suit their medical needs. Often, as a caregiver, the responsibility falls on you. There are a couple of questions to ask when looking for a doctor to care for your parent.

Find a doctor who has had experience in treating aging patients. Much like a pediatrician, a physician who specializes in geriatrics or a family physician with experience in caring for the elderly will be able to care for your parent the best and understand their health needs. Another important fact to consider–especially for senior care–is whether or not a doctor is able to make house calls in an emergency. Before choosing a doctor for your parent, you may want to make an appointment to meet with them to talk about your parent’s specific needs.

Finding a doctor for: you

“Busy parents often forget to take care of themselves, too,” says Dr. Henwood. “Parents and adult children are always willing to put their children and aging parents first, but caring for your health is one area that shouldn’t take a backseat. The better you take care of yourself, the better you can be there for others.”

Just like you would for your parents or children, make sure you seek out a doctor who can best identify with your needs. If you have a specific condition, or if you struggle with issues like anxiety, stress, or depression, make sure you have a doctor who understands your busy lifestyle and can handle your medical needs appropriately.

Another important factor to consider, especially for busy parents, is a doctor’s location and hours. Make sure there is an office close to your work or home, and that they have evening or weekend hours that suit your schedule. If the hours or location are not convenient, you might not be as likely to go. Choosing a doctor is a very important decision. Take your time and find the one that’s right for you.

Main Line Health primary care physicians have offices in many convenient locations near the following hospitals and health centers, and other convenient outpatient settings throughout your community. Visit our website to find a Main Line Health primary care physician in your area.