When you need to make an appointment with a doctor, there are usually a few priorities you’ll have in mind, like whether they have the expertise to help you with a particular health issue or have good ratings from other patients. However, another important question to ask is “how to find a doctor near me.” When a doctor’s office is located close by, it can offer a number of important benefits for your overall health care.
Learn more about how to find a doctor near you and what to ask before making an appointment.
Benefits of Choosing a Nearby Doctor
Location is just as important as other priorities when searching for healthcare options. When a doctor is located farther away or in an area that’s hard for you to get to easily, it can impact your health in a number of ways.
Here are some of the key benefits of choosing a local primary care doctor:
- Less time off work or away from family: A convenient location means you’ll be able to minimize the time it takes to get to and from appointments. It also reduces lost wages at work and extra expenses for child care or elder care.
- Easier scheduling: When the doctor’s office is closer to your home or workplace, it’s a lot easier to figure out when you can fit in an appointment. That also means you’ll be less likely to skip appointments, because it won’t seem like as much of an inconvenience to get to the doctor.
- Faster access to care: If you choose a nearby doctor, you’ll be able to reach them much faster when you need to schedule a last-minute visit for a pressing need that needs to be taken care of ASAP.
- Better understanding: Going to a local primary care physician also means you’ll have the benefit of seeing someone who works in your own community. A doctor who is based locally will be better able to understand your lifestyle and your background than someone in another area.
Choosing a doctor that is based somewhere that’s far from your home or workplace could pose a number of challenges to getting the healthcare you need, so keep these benefits in mind when you are trying to find the right doctor for you.
Where to Find a Good Local Doctor
The process for finding a doctor can often feel overwhelming, so narrowing down your search by location is a great way to start your search.
Let’s say you live in Huntington Beach, California. If you are searching for a primary care doctor, you’ll likely find that your health insurance portal or a simple Google search brings up hundreds of doctors in the area. This is to be expected since the Los Angeles and Orange County areas are highly populated, so there are many doctors located within that region.
With that many healthcare providers from which to choose, however, it’s smart to start your search as close to home as possible. You’ll likely find that a local practice like Bella Terra Primary Care is a great fit because it’s centrally located and situated along main roadways. It’s even close to a number of other businesses, which makes it convenient for many workers in the areas or those who may want the convenience of running other errands before or after their appointments. Best of all, it’s actually in Huntington Beach rather than a nearby area.
If you find a doctor that’s a little bit farther away, make sure you have easy access. For example, someone who lives outside Huntington Beach may still want to visit Bella Terra Primary Care because, in addition to offering excellent care, the practice can be easily reached by hopping on the 405 or Route 39. That makes it easy to access from nearby cities, such as Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Irvine, and Santa Ana.
Limits for Selecting a Local Doctor
So, how far is too far when choosing a local doctor? That depends on where you live and what form of transportation you rely on. In some areas, it’s normal to expect a drive of about 20-30 minutes to get to the doctor. For others, something within a 10-15 walk or bus ride may be preferred.
The best location for your doctor really comes down to what you consider to be convenient. If you really prefer to have a doctor within a 10-minute drive, start your search there. Once you’ve found a few options, compare their ratings or testimonials from past patients as well as their service offerings.
If the nearest healthcare providers don’t meet your standards in these areas, you may need to widen your search to a 20-minute drive. Ultimately, the goal is to find a doctor located nearby without sacrificing when it comes to the quality of your care.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Nearby Healthcare Provider
Once you’ve found a doctor that seems to fulfill your requirements in terms of location, services, and expertise, you’ll want to ask some questions to make sure it’s the right fit. Here are some of the key things to ask about before you choose a healthcare provider:
- What are your office hours? Make sure the office hours align with your schedule.
- How quickly can I typically make an appointment? Some doctors’ offices have long waits for appointments, which might not work for you.
- How do I get to your office? Ask if they recommend a certain route for getting there faster.
- Is there parking on site? Think about whether you’ll need to pay for parking or find a spot on the street or in a garage.
- Are there public transportation options to reach your location? If you don’t have a car or prefer not to drive, this question is critical.
In addition to asking these questions of each doctor you’re considering, you may also want to inquire with friends, family, or neighbors who live in the area to find out if they have any local doctor recommendations.
Another Option to Consider: Telemedicine Visits
If you’re having trouble finding a doctor nearby, you may need to travel farther to attend in-person appointments. However, if you choose a doctor who offers telemedicine services, you’ll likely be able to avoid traveling for many of your healthcare needs.
For example, someone who lives in Southern California but not particularly close to Huntington Beach may still want to choose Nishu Karki, MD at Bella Terra Primary Care as their doctor based on her exceptional reputation and expertise in internal medicine. Fortunately, Dr. Karki offers telemedicine appointments for many types of visits, such as:
- Flu, cold, or allergy issues
- Follow-up visits after treatment
- Test results review
- Medication management
- Chronic disease management
- Wellness and lifestyle coaching
- Minor urgent care
- General health concerns
This can reduce the frequency of travel for in-person visits, which will still be necessary for things like as vaccinations and EKGs.
Telemedicine is something that can be especially useful for people who live in outlying suburbs and rural areas. Telemedicine brings the doctor to you for many different types of appointments, which means that even if there are few doctors (or no doctors) in your immediate area, you can still get quality care.
Find a Local Huntington Beach Doctor Ready to make an appointment? For patients in the Huntington Beach area, Bella Terra Primary Care offers an exceptional level of care from an expert physician, convenient in-person and virtual appointments, and—importantly—a convenient location. Contact Bella Terra today to learn more.