Access to Care: Doctors—Finding the Right One

When it comes to health and access to health care, one of the most important decisions an individual or family can make is choosing the right physician. According to www.Healthypeople.gov, 1 in 4 Americans do not have a primary care provider/physician (PCP) and 1 in 5 do not have health insurance. Research shows that those without one and/or the other are more likely to lack the equitable medical care they need. This can be especially difficult for those with situations that require frequent medical attention.

Your PCP can fall under any one of the following:  Family/General Practitioners, Internists or Pediatricians.

Family/General Practitioners are doctors who treat acute and chronic illnesses while providing preventive care and health education for all ages.

Internists are internal medicine specialists who deal with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of (mainly) adult diseases.

Pediatricians oversee the health and well-being of children from infants to young adults.

As a family member or a person living with a disability you may need to choose a general practitioner who has had previous experience dealing with patients who have disabilities. It is also very important for those living with a disability to determine whether or not an internist with specialized training such as a neurologist or orthopedist will better suit their needs. For those who have children living with a disability, a pediatrician with patience and excellent communication skills is a must. Once you’ve discovered the type of PCP that bests suits your needs, finding a physician you are comfortable dealing with is just as important.

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