Men's health matters: Find a primary care provider

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Dec 27, 2017 11:00:00 AM

MikePhelps2017-1.jpg“It’s important to me to stay physically and mentally healthy and fit so I can enjoy life to its fullest for as long as possible.” Mike Phelps, president & CEO, Ridgeview Medical Center

Self-described as “middle-aged,” Phelps challenges his body with regular workouts and competitive sports while challenging his mind at work and home. “Having mental and physical balance is important, as is assuring my body is maintained properly by getting regular checkups and screenings.” Though a hospital CEO, Phelps – like many men – doesn’t like going to the doctor; however, with colon cancer in his family history he started regular screenings at an early age.  He also says having a primary care doctor identified as his regular provider has made it easier and more comfortable seeing that person for physicals, screenings and even asking the odd or uncomfortable questions over time as they get to know each other. “The occasional reminder from home and the doctor’s office doesn’t hurt either,” Phelps shared.

Questions to ask a family physician during a meet & greet

Finding the right family doctor is important, because ideally, you’ll establish a long-term relationship. Make an
appointment for a Ridgeview Meet & Greet to learn more about the health care providers you’re considering. 

For most clinics, there may be no charge for an introductory session, or you may need to pay a fee or co-pay amount. Either way, it’s worth investing your time in the discussion to make sure you make the right decision for your family.

Here are some important questions to ask a family physician during a Meet and Greet visit, so you can get to know the doctor better

  • Can the provider or clinic treat every member of your family?
  • Are there multiple doctors in the practice? If so, can you meet the other physicians? If not, who will you see you if your doctor is unavailable?
  • Does the practice focus on health and wellness, or treating disease?
  • What hospital(s) are they associated with?
  • Is the provider's overall approach to treatment aggressive or conservative?
  • Does the doctor seem warm and relaxed, or is he/she more formal in speaking with you?
  • If you have a chronic illness or other ongoing condition, how experienced is the doctor in that area?
  • Does the clinic perform X-rays or other tests in the office?
  • What kind of online reviews do they have?

Here are some questions to ask a family physician during a Meet and Greet visit, so you can understand clearly how the office functions:

  • Confirm that the provider is accepting new patients.
  • How long is the wait to get an appointment?
  • Can you make an appointment in the evening or on the weekend?
  • How long will you have to wait in the waiting room before seeing the doctor?
  • How long do appointments typically last?
  • What is the clinic's cancellation policy?
  • Does the provider communicate with patients by email or by phone only?
  • Is the clinic's website informative?

Remember, you want someone with whom you feel comfortable, so you’ll feel encouraged to speak openly, ask questions, listen carefully and follow through with your doctor’s recommendations. So, how did your prospective physician and the staff rate?

  • Were they friendly?
  • Did you feel rushed?
  • Did you get to ask all your questions?
  • Did they answer your questions thoroughly?

By forming a long-term family health and wellness partnership, you and your loved ones are more likely to feel better, stay healthy, and ensure you’re getting proper care when you need it. Bringing a written list of questions with you to ask a potential family physican will ensure you don’t forget something.

This is the third in a series of articles on men's health. Look for our next article on the importance of being proactive with your health.

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Ridgeview Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit, regional health care system located just 35 minutes west of Minneapolis on Highway 5. Its network includes two hospitals—located in Waconia and Arlington—a multitude of primary and specialty care clinics (including OB/GYN clinics in Chaska and Chanhassen), emergency services and specialty programs, and Two Twelve Medical Center in Chaska—a free-standing 24/7 emergency and urgent care facility with multi-specialty clinics and services.  



Topics: Primary Care

Medical and health information presented here is intended to be general in nature, and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult with a health care professional for all matters relating to personal medical and health care issues. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 

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