How to Choose a Doctor

Picking a Primary Care Provider in New Jersey

Deciding on a primary care physician can be a big decision. Everyone wants a doctor they can trust and speak openly with, but there’s far more to consider than just that. You will also want a physician that’s close to home, in your insurance network and well-respected by current and former patients.

The physicians at our facilities are reputable, skilled professionals who contribute to our vision of advancing the overall health of the communities we serve. We want to help you find a physician that can address your specific healthcare needs and work well with you on a personal level. Here, we go over a few things to keep in mind when choosing a new physician.

Internist or family doctor?

An internist, or internal medicine doctor, is a physician who focuses on primary care services for adults, which includes prevention, diagnosis and treatment for various conditions. Family doctors are similar, except they treat patients of all ages and generally have a broader focus.

Deciding which professional is the best fit for you is a personal decision. If you live alone or have a small family, an internist may work best for your medical needs. For larger families, having one point of contact for everyone can work better, especially if your family has a history of shared medical conditions.

Finding a physician in your network

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance is now mandatory. The benefit of this is that it is now much more difficult for insurance providers to deny you benefits because of preexisting conditions or high risk factors. Finding a primary care provider in your insurance network should be one of your priorities when deciding on a physician. This spares you the financial burden of paying for out-of-network medical expenses.

At RWJBarnabas Health, our providers work with and accept numerous insurance providers, but you will need to contact your representative to know for sure whether the location nearest you is included in your network.

Patient satisfaction and referrals

Going to a new physician knowing that others have spoken well of him or her makes it easier to go in with a positive mindset. If you have friends or family in the area, ask them about their experience with local physicians. You may also want to find patient reviews for doctors who have experience treating a particular medical condition.

Your first visit is not a commitment

Ultimately, there is no better way to get a feel of a physician than to schedule an appointment and meet with them yourself. An initial meeting in no way obligates you to continue using that physician for all of your primary care needs. Most providers realize that patients will be researching local doctors in order to find the best fit.

Important things to consider when choosing a doctor:

  • How long does it take to get to their office?
  • Were there long wait times?
  • Do you feel comfortable revealing personal medical details with the physician?
  • Was the clinic staff friendly and helpful?
  • What kind of hours does the doctor keep?

For help choosing the right physician for you, please refer to the contact telephone numbers below.

For the following facilities, please call 1-888-724-7123:

  • Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
  • Barnabas Health Medical Group
  • Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Clara Maass Medical Center
  • Community Medical Center
  • Jersey City Medical Center
  • Monmouth Medical Center
  • Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center
  • The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center

For the following facilities, please call, 1-888.MD-RWJUH (1-888-637-9584):

  • RWJ Physician Enterprise
  • RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
  • RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick
  • RWJ University Hospital Rahway
  • RWJ University Hospital Somerset
  • The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH

If you would like to find a primary care provider near you in New Jersey, contact us today. Our providers look forward to meeting with you!

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