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Choosing a Primary Care Physician: 4 Geographical Considerations

One of the first things people consider when choosing a new doctor is location. Most people want their primary care physician to be in a convenient spot, relative to the places where they spend most of their time. Is it most convenient to have a doctor that’s close to work or home? Maybe it’s best to be between the two, near your child’s daycare center or close to school—but what option is really best?

The truth is, it can vary from person to person, depending on where the patient spends most of his or her time. Before you choose a primary care physician, you should figure out what would be best for you and your family. Here are four geographical factors you’ll want to consider before deciding on a primary care physician:

Close to home or work?

When deciding whether you want your doctor to be close to home or work, there are a few questions to ask yourself. First, where are you during typical appointment times? Most doctors’ offices take appointments during working hours, which is usually between 8 or 9am and 5pm. Some offices are open later or earlier depending on the doctor’s schedule. Think about what will be easiest for you at those times.

Second, what’s more likely to change in the next few years – your job or your address? A primary care physician is hopefully someone you’ll want to have a long term relationship with. He or she will be someone you can see for several years about your health, so it’s important to think about convenience for the future as well.

Easy access to urgent care

If you’re ever in need of urgent medical care, you’ll want easy access to a doctor who knows you and your health, which is likely your primary care physician. Think about where you would want your doctor to be if you were in need of an urgent care visit for any reason. Make sure he or she is easily accessible for unexpected emergencies.

Online resources

If you find a doctor you like that’s far from where most of your daily life happens, it’s important to consider online resources. Does the office you’re looking into offer remote options to the important information and care you need? If the office is out of the way and doesn’t offer easily accessible resources such as a patient portal, you may want to think twice before committing.

Affiliations with nearby hospitals

If you’d like access to a hospital close to your home or work, consider looking into primary care physicians within that hospital’s local health network. By choosing a doctor who’s affiliated with a hospital’s network, you can have easy referrals and access to specialists. Also, your primary care doctor can quickly transfer medical records to ER and hospital staff in case you or a member of your family should need hospitalization.

The right care, close by

Your primary care physician is the person who will help you with one of the most important aspects of your life — your health. You’ll need to be sure he or she is not only conveniently located, but is also attentive to your needs and your health. You may think you can’t have both, but in many cases, exceptional care is much closer than you think.

If you live in the communities of the Hudson Valley, you are within reach of many doctors who provide personalized care, are connected to leading hospitals and specialists and are close to home. There’s no need to look any further than your own community for high quality and convenient care. If you’re looking for a new primary care doctor, get to know the physicians of Columbia Memorial Health by viewing our doctor bio videos, or searching for a physician near you with the Find A Doc tool, today.

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