What to consider when choosing a GP in Dublin
Choosing a GP to suit you and your family can seem like a difficult task, especially when you live in a city and are inundated with choice or are new to an area. To help you find a doctor that suits you and your needs and get the type of consultation and doctor-patient relationship you want, follow our simple tips below to ensure your choice is the best for you.
Your location will impact your choice of medical practice and subsequently your GP. If you are working or have children it is easier to choose a practice close to the vicinity of your home for easy access and shorter time spent travelling to and fro. Investigate what practices are around your area to begin with to enquire about their availability, finding a location that suits you and your travel abilities. Whether you are driving or walking is also something to keep in mind, as well as noting if there are any local transport options near the practice also.
Specialities and qualifications:
You may be interested in seeing a GP that has some specialities or further qualifications and experience in a certain area you need advice in, such as mental, child or female health. Whatever the area you are particularly concerned with, having a read on the practice’s website to learn more about the doctors working there and their particular interests and experiences may help you make your choice a little easier.
You may wish to ask around your local community or to relatives and friends for references for GPs. A good doctor that has built up a friendly and professional rapport with their clients will most likely be recommended and you can get an insight into the practice, its people, doctors and atmosphere from those you know and trust. If you do not have anyone specifically to ask for references, having a look at the practice’s website will always give you more information on the GPs and medical practitioners working there and will help you get a feel for the place and people.
Type of practice and flexibility:
Something else that may be important to you when choosing a GP is the type of practice in which they operate. Larger practices may provide more flexible opening hours, quick turnaround and multiple choice, however smaller practices may offer equal flexibility for your availability and offer a more familiar experience and relationship with your GP and the people working there. Whatever your choice, finding out the type of practice and getting a feel for the way they operate is also something to consider when making the choice that is right for you.
Familiarising yourself with a practice’s amenities is also something you should review when choosing the right practice and GP. Note the available ways to book an appointment; Can you book easily online or via telephone only? How quickly do staff respond to consultation requests?, Can the practice provide minor surgery solutions?, Will your insurance or medical health card be accepted, etc., are all things to check to better inform yourself on the GP and the practice you choose.
Go and visit:
The most familiar and direct way to find out about a practice and its GPs is to visit it when you need to and find out in person. Visiting a clinic will help you put faces to names and allow you to meet the people who make the place tick. Meeting the receptionists and GPs in a practice will help you get a real and authentic feel for the practice, and allow you an opportunity to see the personality of your GP to determine if you are comfortable with them. As well as this, you can note the atmosphere and understand the potential waiting times you will experience, altogether giving you a more educated impression.
Review your consultation:
After visiting a GP for the first time, reflect on the consultation you had with them and the ways in which they advised and handled your concerns and questions. Note how your GP advises you, whether they are quick to prescribe medications or not, how much of a listening ear they give and how comfortable you felt telling them your issues. A good GP will offer an understanding and considerate ear, professional advice and should refer you to specialists when necessary. Evaluating how your GP assesses you and the manner in which they do so will ultimately make the decision for you. If you feel listened to, understood and treated with patience and care, you know you’ve found the one.