Choosing a Family Doctor that’s Right for You
Your relationship with your doctor is one of the most important in your life. You should be able to trust your doctor with your most private health issues or problems and should feel certain he or she is your ally. Before choosing a family physician, make a list of qualities you’d like in a doctor. The physician who meets your criteria— listens and treats you with respect— is the right one for you.
“A good family physician is someone who is honest, intelligent, timely, and a good listener,” says John Howard, MD of Lakeland Family Medicine, Niles. “A doctor should treat the patient with the same care and respect they’d want to be treated with.”
Southwest Michigan is home to dozens of warm and caring family and internal medicine doctors and providers who agree that it’s important to establish a relationship with a primary care provider.
“Everyone should have a family physician to come to for health care concerns,” Dr. Howard says. “We all need someone we can trust and respect when difficult situations arise and we need medical advice or help.”
“I became a doctor because I wanted to work with people, establish relationships with them, and help them live the healthiest lives they can,” says Dr. Howard.
Why Having a Primary Care Provider is Important
- They are your first point of contact for all new health concerns
- They help prevent illness and death, reducing the rate of mortality by 30%
- They treat chronic conditions
- They’re your long-term personal care provider
- They provide comprehensive and centralized care
- They can recommend the right specialist for your medical conditions