Should I Switch Primary Care Providers?

Healthy Living

Having a primary care provider (PCP) you like is one of the most important aspects of your health care routine. So if something about your current doctor-patient relationship feels off, it could be time to start searching for a new PCP who better suits your individual health care needs and interests.

Patients who have a good relationship with their PCP are more likely to take advantage of all the benefits PCPs have to offer, like preventive care, wellness advice, and lowered health care costs. Here’s what to look for when deciding if it’s time to switch PCPs:

Do the two of you mesh?

There are all kinds of providers out there. Some tell you directly what they think you should do; others prefer to present options and take a more collaborative approach to your treatment plan. It doesn’t matter which PCP you choose as long as it’s the type of PCP that works for you. If your PCP is blunt and you prefer providers with more empathy, it’s probably time to start seeking out someone new.

Does your PCP spend time listening to you?

You should never feel rushed when visiting your PCP. The more your PCP gets to know you and the lifestyle you lead, the better they will become at advising you and catching any health problems that may arise. Good PCPs know how to ask the right questions to get their patients talking. If your PCP is simply checking boxes off a list and sending you out the door, it’s a sign you’re not getting as much out of the relationship as you should be.

Do you feel as informed as you want to be?

A PCP should be open with you about the reasons behind their recommendations, about your test results, and in how they answer your questions. You should never feel confused or uninformed about your health. Your PCP should be able to figure out how to explain things to you in ways you’ll understand and help you feel confident about the decisions you’re making together. If this is missing from your current relationship, you and your PCP might not be a good fit.

Do you feel comfortable with your PCP?

When you dread going to see your PCP or get a weird feeling around them, something is off. The most important part of a provider-patient relationship is a level of comfort. Your PCP should make you feel safe to reveal any health concerns that may be on your mind, whether they be physical or mental. Being open and honest with your PCP about your physical and emotional concerns will ensure you receive the most personalized, best care possible. If you don’t feel like you can have these open conversations with your PCP, it’s time to move on.

Regardless of how long you’ve been with your PCP, it’s perfectly acceptable and normal to make a change if you decide that’s what you need. Your relationship with your PCP has a big impact on your overall health, so it’s important to find the right fit. MyHealthKC helps you do just that. All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself, and our scientific algorithm will show you a list of local providers who match your personality and needs.

Take a step toward finding the right provider for you by taking the quiz today.