Top 5 question to ask a primary care provider

Dr. Michael J. Berard, a highly rated internist in College Park, Md., says a primary care provider is usually your first contact for medical care — so it’s important to find a good fit.

“They’re a filter for information and even an advocate,” Berard says. “They should not only be knowledgeable, but also a good listener.”

Berard recommends you ask these important questions to find a compatible caregiver:

  1. What insurance plans do you accept?
  2. What are your office hours and how do I reach you in an emergency?
  3. Is there a way to get simple questions answered without an office visit?
  4. Do you predominantly prescribe generic drugs or use non-traditional therapies, and why or why not?
  5. Are vaccines, labs and simple diagnostic tests done in the office?

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A primary care choice for Chicago patients: internist or family doctor?

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Internist John Revis, examining John Kowalski, says finding an accessible primary care provider should take precedence over specialty. (Photo by Jay Madden)
Internist John Revis, examining John Kowalski, says finding an accessible primary care provider should take precedence over specialty. (Photo by Jay Madden)

Many Chicago patients see an internist or family physician for primary care, but most remain unclear on the differences between the two.

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