Skip to main content
5 things to look for in a primary care doctor
August 13, 2021 at 7:00 AM
5 things to look for in a primary care doctor

When you’re trying to find a new primary care doctor, it can be difficult to find the right provider. Sometimes we’ll simply call a clinic near where we live and visit the first doctor the receptionist tells us is available. While this can often lead to a great doctor-patient relationship, this isn’t always the case. To help with this, our team at Common Health has put together five things you should look for in your new primary care doctor.

Covered by your insurance

Before you start looking for a doctor, speak with your insurance company to find out clinics and doctors in your area that they’re contracted with. This will make it easier to cut down on the large selection of doctors in your area rather than finding a doctor you like then later learning they don’t take your insurance. This mistake can cost you a significant amount of time and money as you might set up an appointment then find out when you get there that they don’t take your insurance.

Consider your own needs

Take into account your personal needs. Not every doctor is willing to help manage chronic medical conditions. If you live with a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, or anything else, ask the receptionist about the doctor’s willingness and ability to manage a condition before meeting with the doctor themself.

Good reviews

The way doctors deal with patients is incredibly important. Some clinicians have a hard time displaying a good bedside manner. This is something that can make it difficult to work with a specific provider. Read reviews about a doctor before you meet with them so you can understand how patients view the clinician.

There’s much more than simply a rating that goes into online reviews, so it’s a good idea to read them with your own requirements and opinions in mind. When reading online reviews, consider more than negative reviews as even positive reviews can reveal aspects of the doctor that might not mesh well with your personality. The same goes with negative reviews as something that was a deal-breaker for one patient might be something you aren’t as concerned about.


Take into account how easy it is or isn’t to get in to see your doctor. Whether it’s because they have too many patients that they’re trying to see or if their office hours are limited, it can be difficult to get in to see your doctor when you need to. This can especially be the case when you have something you’re worried about that might need to be addressed.

In contrast to being difficult to get in to see your doctor, it can be a red flag if it’s too easy to set an appointment. Experienced doctors who don’t have a large patient pool might be losing patients because of the way they work with them. If you’re worried that it might be too easy to get in to see your doctor, you can ask the receptionist if patients have stayed with the doctor for a long time or if there’s a high turnover rate.

In recent years, telehealth has become a more common method of treating patients. If this is an option that you’d like to have available for you when you need it, ask if it’s a service the provider offers.

Good background

You can often learn about a doctor’s background by reading information about them on their website. Find out where they went to school, what kind of extra training they had after they completed their schooling requirements, and what kind of specialty they have. If you don’t have any specific medical concerns, you might not need to worry too much about their specialty, but it’s good to get to know where your provider is coming from before deciding on a primary care doctor.

Contact us for an appointment

If you’re looking for a primary care doctor and would like to learn more about Common Health, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision about your doctor going forward. Get in touch by calling us or sending a message using our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and will be sure to get back to you quickly.