When you move to a new town and need to find a physician, you will find yourself faced with what seems like an endless array of choices. There are many different doctors in most cities who practice the same type of medicine. However, there is one key factor that you will want to consider carefully when making your final choice of doctor. You need to determine if you want to see a solo practitioner or choose a doctor that is a part of a group medical practice. Get to know more about the differences between these two types of doctors and decide which option is right for you.
Solo Practitioners Usually Have A Smaller Number Of Patients
Because a solo practitioner is the only physician in the office (though they will have nurses who assist), they are likely to work with a smaller number of patients. While this may initially seem like a disadvantage because more patients means a doctor is more popular, it is actually one of the benefits of choosing a solo practitioner.
If a physician has fewer patient on their caseload, they will be far more familiar with each individual patient's medical history and needs. The care will be more personal and you will likely feel a great deal more comfortable talking to your doctor and seeking out their assistance. This close relationship between the doctor and their patient leads to higher patient satisfaction overall and better medical care in most cases.
Medical Group Doctors Have Reinforcements
Of course, while having that close relationship with your doctor is important, doctors who work as a part of a medical group do have one advantage over solo practitioners. They have reinforcements to help with their patients.
For example, if you are feeling under the weather and want to head to the doctor's office, you may call and find that your doctor is all booked up for the day. If your doctor is a solo practitioner, this would mean you need to try to get them to squeeze you in somehow, wait until another day, or go to urgent care. However, if your doctor is a part of a medical group and one of the other physicians has a free appointment time, you may be able to see them rather than your usual doctor. This automatic backup can be convenient.
Solo Practitioners Are More Likely To Provide After-Hours Consultations And Care
Because solo practitioners rely on their patients being loyal to them rather than collecting a large number of patients, many solo practitioners will go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis. Even though they may have set office hours, solo practitioners may be willing to stay late for a patient with an odd work schedule or come into the office in an emergency situation to help patients after hours.
You may also have an easier time contacting your solo practitioner for a simple consultation after hours. Because solo practitioners may not have office staff aside from their nurse, they may have a work cell phone that they carry with them that you can call after hours to set appointments or ask advice. Of course, not all solo practitioners are so flexible but this is a much more likely occurrence with solo practitioners than medical group physicians.
Now that you know some of the key differences between solo practitioners and doctors in a medical group setting, you can choose the right primary care doctor for you and your needs. Contact a practice, such as Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD, for more information.