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Rowena

Help Picking A Pcp

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So I got new insurance, (HALLELUJAH! BETTER INSURANCE!) and now I get to pick who I want to be my doctor instead of going to the stupid student health center and then being refered to other doctors which means a pain in the butt because my insurance is way too picky. (More so than other insurances, darn student insurance)

Anyway, I was going to start with a Primary Care Provider. So I went to my insurance's website, picked my plan and did a search.

Then I narrowed down my options by proximity.

Then I narrowed it down by people in a certain Medical group. (The Intermountain Medical Group if you know what that is...)

Then of course I had to weed out all the pediatric PCPs since I am not a kid... obviously.

But then, I am down to eleven still... How do I pick the right one?

Also, I prefer women as my OB, but when it comes to the PCP, does it make a difference? And are Midwives/CRNs good choices for a PCP?

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So I got new insurance, (HALLELUJAH! BETTER INSURANCE!) and now I get to pick who I want to be my doctor instead of going to the stupid student health center and then being refered to other doctors which means a pain in the butt because my insurance is way too picky. (More so than other insurances, darn student insurance)

Anyway, I was going to start with a Primary Care Provider. So I went to my insurance's website, picked my plan and did a search.

Then I narrowed down my options by proximity.

Then I narrowed it down by people in a certain Medical group. (The Intermountain Medical Group if you know what that is...)

Then of course I had to weed out all the pediatric PCPs since I am not a kid... obviously.

But then, I am down to eleven still... How do I pick the right one?

Also, I prefer women as my OB, but when it comes to the PCP, does it make a difference? And are Midwives/CRNs good choices for a PCP?

The only medical people I have encountered are my optometrist and the GYN and her nurse practioner. The GYN said pick a younger doctor for my PCP because she might have heard of celiac disease.

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Not a midwife.

My personal opinion (and experience) is that if you have a man and a woman at the same level in their profession, the woman had to be a lot better to get there.

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Get one old enough to have had a little clinical experience, but not too old to be jaded and "there's nothing new under the sun" :P (because we all know there is, every day).

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Midwives can't write prescriptions. CRNs can only write some prescriptions. The best choice for a PCP is an internist or family medicine doc, because they will be able to manage your overall care and write you prescriptions for any medications you might need at any point in the future, including controlled substances (like narcotic pain medications if you had a kidney stone, for example).

I recommend having a gynecologist for monitoring your lady bits and their health and a primary care doc for monitoring the rest of you. Gynecologists keep up on the literature and medical advances within the reproductive zone but they are only rarely up to date on the latest blood pressure medications or recommendations, for example. Internists and family med docs are better about that. Also the musculoskeletal stuff - if you need help with back pain, a gynecologist wouldn't be great at treating that.

You might prefer a DO to an MD, if you're into more alternative options. A DO is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, which is an alternative philosophy to teaching medicine invented within the USA about 150 years ago. They often think of the body more as a whole, focusing on systems and interactions rather than a single disease or symptom. They may be more your style, and they're equivalent to MDs within this country. Again, male or female is up to you. There are lots of DOs of both genders so you hopefully can have your pick.

My personal preference in health care providers is that they be willing to look things up for me. Not that they know everything right away - since they can't possibly know everything there is to know about medicine - but rather that they actively seek out new information to care for me better. If you can find a doc like that, you've found a real advocate for your health and you should stick to them through thick and thin. A good doc is worth his/her weight in gold.

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I agree with Emilushka but would add that doctors who let you play a role in decision-making will probably be a better fit.

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