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How to find a great primary care doctor in Brooklyn

Looking for a primary care doctor in Brooklyn can seem overwhelming. You’re choosing a person or a practice group that’s going to help keep you healthy over the long-term, as well as attend to emergency needs like sudden coughs, colds, and minor injuries. And not all doctors are the same! Who you choose will make a big impact on your health.

No matter what neighborhood of Brooklyn you’re searching in – from Prospect Park and Williamsburg to Brownsville and Sheepshead Bay – there are plenty of high-quality doctors to serve your family’s primary care needs. Finding a doctor doesn’t have to be a headache, though it does take some effort. We’ve put together this list of tips to help you find a primary care physician near you.

1.   Find out who’s in network

Choosing a doctor who is “in-network” with your health insurance provider will save you a lot of money and hassle every time you need to see the doctor. Every insurance plan has a network of doctors or clinics that they have a special deal with, so that their insurance subscribers pay less (usually a LOT less) to see those doctors versus someone who is “out of network.”

To find out which doctors are in your network and in your neighborhood, go to your health insurance company’s website and look for primary care physicians. You can also call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask for a list of primary care doctors in Brooklyn.

2.   Read doctor reviews

The age of the internet has made looking for a doctor tremendously easier, because you can  see what other people have to say about them without even stepping in an office. There are lots of places where you can read reviews of a doctor or clinic you’re considering. Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, HealthGrades, and WebMD are just a few of the places where you can find doctor reviews and ratings.

Don’t just look not just at the “stars” a health care provider is rated. Also take the time to actually read the reviews left by patients. You may notice patterns that can help you make up your mind. For example, if going to the doctor fills you with anxiety, you may want to look for someone that’s with “calming bedside manner” in multiple reviews.

3.   Ask your friends

Nobody’s going to give you the real low-down on a doctor like the people that care about you. Ask your friends who they see. Do they like their doctor? Are they able to get in when they need to? Have they seen any doctors in the past that they would not recommend?

Don’t have friends and family in your neighborhood? Ask your neighbors. Having a primary care that’s close by is a life saver when you’re sick and don’t have the energy to travel across Brooklyn. Some neighborhoods also have dedicated social media pages that you can use to ask for referrals to local doctors in your area.

4.   See who’s in your neighborhood

There’s nothing worse than feeling crummy and then having to drive or Uber to the edge of the map to get care. Can you imagine traveling from Dumbo to Manhattan Beach with a 103 fever? What a way to make a bad day worse.

When searching for a local primary care doctor, include the name of your neighborhood as well as your city in your search query, such as “Primary care doctor Brooklyn Kensington” or “Primary care physician near Sunset Park.” You’ll thank yourself later.

5.   Think about the future

Life changes will have an affect on the type of medical care you’ll need down the road. Thinking of having a child in the next couple years? You may want to opt for a primary care doctor that serves both adults and children. Expecting a promotion that might take you to a different neighborhood or area of Brooklyn? Search for a medical practice with locations all over the city.

6. Look for extended hours

Not everyone can make it to the doctor from 9-5. If you have children, work a job with variable hours, or just like the convenience of having more options for when you can go see your doctor, look for a primary care doctor office that stays open later. Little known secret – not all doctors adhere to the traditional 9-5 hours. Finding a practice that stays open later or takes patients on the weekends can really help your schedule when you’re trying to get medical care without reworking your entire schedule.

7. Choose the right type of Brooklyn primary care doctor

Most primary care doctors fall into one of three categories. You’ll want to find one that best suits the type of care you need.

  • Family Practice – A family practice physician treats patients of all ages, from babies to great-grandparents. Family practice doctors treat a wide variety of illnesses and conditions, including some that you might otherwise have to see a specialist for, like women’s health needs. A family practice practitioner is a good choice if you want all your needs met in one place.
  • Internal Medicine – Internal medicine doctors treat adults and focus on keeping you healthy by preventing, diagnosing, and managing chronic conditions.
  • General Practice – Like family practice doctors, general practitioners treat patients of any age. You may find general practitioners who are osteopaths, meaning that they focus on how the musculoskeletal system affects overall health. You’ll know that the general practitioner you are considering is an osteopath if they have a “D.O.” after their name.

8. Come in

The only way to get a true feeling for a doctor in Brooklyn or anywhere is by coming in to see them in person. You’ll find out how simple (or complicated) it is to make an appointment, how much effort it takes to get from your home to the office, the bedside manner of the doctor and nurses, etc. All of these things matter! Always try out a new doctor before you commit. If you go in for one appointment and don’t like something, you’re not stuck. Keep trying different doctors until you find one that fits you.

Care, for all aspects of life

Call or come into your local CareCube today to learn how we can help you!