When you move to a different neighborhood, city, or State altogether, your to-do list is probably endless and might feel a little daunting. And while some things can easily take a backseat, there is one that you want to prioritize: finding a great family doctor.
Also called “general practitioners” or “primary care doctors”, these professionals offer a wide range of health services to you and your family. But what does a general practitioner do, exactly? How can they help you to keep on top of your health, and why is it vital that you get an excellent one?
Just read on. In this article, we will explain what areas general practitioners cover, why it’s important to find the best one for you, and how you can achieve this.
What Does a General Practitioner Do?
To begin with, a general practitioner (GP) works as the first port of call between members of a community, and health services. Whatever ailment you are experiencing, or whatever questions you have or information you need about your health, you should contact your GP.
The important aspect to keep in mind is that a GP doesn’t just assess, diagnose, and treat physical problems, but mental ones as well.
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This has been more and more the case, as mental health is on the agenda of local and central governments worldwide.
GPs provide a holistic type of healthcare services.
This includes both acute and chronic physical and mental illnesses and conditions. such as diabetes, pregnancy, and generalized anxiety disorder. A good GP will often be a pivotal member of their community, and someone that people will rely on.
GPs can diagnose and prescribe treatments or medications for minor ailments, but they will need to refer you to a specialized healthcare professional if your problems are outside their expertise. A general practitioner has a good knowledge of most physical and mental diseases, but can’t usually care for more serious or rare ones.
Why Is It Crucial to Find a Great GP?
Being registered with an excellent GP surgery has a huge range of benefits. This is especially true while the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.
First of all, it can give you the peace of mind that you need whenever any medical issue comes up. Knowing that you can count on the expert and friendly help of your GP is crucial to living a happy, healthy life.
A skilled and knowledgeable GP can also spot anything wrong with your health before it becomes serious. Conditions like cancer, auto-immune diseases, and pregnancy complications can be identified at a very early stage by good GPs. Being able to take prompt action on those problems can sometimes save a patient’s life.
Another great benefit of GPs is the possibility to access healthcare services for your whole family. If you are married or in a civil partnership, and if you have kids, you can all get registered with the same GP. This will enable all of you to enjoy the same, great quality care from a doctor that you all know, trust, and respect.
Last but not least, choosing the best GP in your area will also offer you the most personalized type of care. And when your primary care doctor sees and treats you like an individual and not like a number or a file on a shelf, you can rest assured that your health will benefit from it.
How Can You Find the Best GP in Your Area?
Your best bet, if you know (and trust) anyone who lives in your new area, is to ask them for advice on the best local doctors. However, if you have moved to an unfamiliar place, and you don’t know anyone there, it might be tricky to get recommendations by word of mouth.
Luckily, though, the internet can come to the rescue. Before registering with a GP surgery, try to look at all the options that are available locally, and check their ratings and customer feedback. Some GPs include resources such as customer satisfaction surveys on their websites, so make sure you check those out, too.
Another very important aspect to consider when choosing your new GP is how easy and quick it is to book appointments. If a GP offers excellent care, but generally has a huge waiting list, then this might not be the right choice for you. The same goes for opening hours. You want to make sure that your new GP is available at times and days when you might need them most, due to your work or childcare commitments.
While GPs are not healthcare specialists, most of them do have specific areas of interest in which they might be particularly experienced.
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So, if you or a member of your family, suffer from a chronic condition, you might want to find out whether there are any local GPs with knowledge and expertise in that.
Finding the Best GP in Your Area Is Possible With Our Easy Tips
Now that you can answer the all-important “what does a general practitioner do”, and why you need to choose a great one, you’re all ready to start searching for the best GP in your new area.
Remember to consider factors such as opening hours, appointment waiting times, customer reviews, and any particular expertise in medical conditions that affect you or your family members.
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