Tips for Choosing a Doctor

One key to staying healthy is having a doctor who serves as your main health care provider in non-emergency situations. A primary care physician can give you a trusting, ongoing relationship with one medical professional over time. These doctors keep up with the big picture of your overall health. Not only are they available to treat you when you are sick, they can also help you manage chronic diseases and prevent health problems.

People have many reasons for changing their primary care physicians: a move to a new town, a change of health plans, a doctor retiring. Whatever the reason, the prospect of finding a new doctor with whom you can build a trusting relationship may seem overwhelming. The information in this article will help you find a personal physician who’s right for you.

Information Sources
There are several ways to get the names of doctors in a particular specialty who practice near where you live or work. The most likely choices for a primary care physician are internists, family practice physicians, pediatricians and gynecologists/obstetricians.

Two very convenient ways to find a physician to meet your needs include the Alamance Regional LiveWell Line and the Alamance Regional website.

The LiveWell Line, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, can be reached at (336) 586-4000. Callers can find information about physicians who are accepting new patients. The LiveWell Line also offers class and event registration and more information about Alamance Regional services.

The Alamance Regional website at www.armc.com includes a physician finder with a listing of physicians who are members of the hospital’s medical staff.

Questions to Ask Family and Friends
Personal recommendations from family members, friends and co-workers often prove helpful, so ask people you know about their doctors. Try these questions:

  1. Does the doctor take time to answer your questions?
  2. If you need to talk to the doctor, does he or she return your phone call promptly?
  3. Is the staff helpful?
  4. How far in advance do you have to book a routine office visit?
  5. If you’re sick, does the doctor or one of his or her partners see you the day you call?
  6. How long do you have to wait in the reception area when you have an appointment?

Questions to Ask the Doctor's Office
Use the information you gather to narrow your list to three or four doctors, call their offices and ask the receptionist or secretary questions such as these:

  1. Is the doctor board certified?
  2. Does the doctor have any subspecialties?
  3. How much time is allowed in the doctor's schedule for each appointment? (It should be at least half an hour for a new patient's first visit and 10 minutes for other visits.)
  4. What are the practice's office hours? (You'll want to be sure those hours will work with your schedule.)

Well Worth the Effort
The research needed to find a personal physician who's right for you may take a little extra time and effort. But when you consider what's at stake — your health — the payoff seems clear.

Alamance Regional Physicians Care Network

Area residents have access to highly qualified and experienced physicians right here in Alamance County. As our area's population grows, the need for doctors is increasing. In order to meet these needs and improve access to care, Alamance Regional Medical Center is working to bring more physicians to our community and has also created a network of physicians.

Practices and doctors that are part of the Alamance Regional Physicians Care Network include:

West Burlington Medical Center
(336) 584-5163
Ginette Archinal, MD

Mebane Medical Clinic
(919) 563-3007
Deanna Jones, MD
Laura Berglund, MD

Burlington Family Practice
(336) 584-3100
Richard Gilbert, MD
Kristi Smith, MD
Donald Fisher, MD
Nancy Maloney, MD

Cornerstone Medical Center
(336) 538-0565
Lemont Morrisey, MD
Krichna Sowles, MD

Crissman Family Practice
(336) 226-2448
Mark Crissman, MD
Harold Brown, DO

South Graham Medical Center
(336) 570-0344
Jim Hawkins, MD

Ely Surgical Associates
(919) 304-1081
Randy Ely, MD
Mark Bird, MD
Richard Cooper, MD
Timothy Oaks, MD
Buddy Marterre, MD

Burlington Urological Associates
(919) 563-6123
John Harman, MD

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