When you are treated by a specialist doctor, you typically only see that physician a few times. But your primary care physician is a doctor you will see again and again over the years. It is therefore important to consider more than just their reputation when choosing a primary care doctor. There are thousands of good primary care doctors out there, but that does not mean they're all a good fit for your needs. The tips below will help you choose a primary care doctor who suits your needs well. 

1. Check what other specialties are offered in the same building.

Many primary care physicians share offices and medical spaces with doctors of various specialties. If you have ongoing medical needs of some sort, finding a primary care doctor who shares space with a specialist you can also see will save you time over the years. For instance, if you have a history of urinary tract problems and see a urologist often, finding a primary care physician whose office is in the same facility as a urologist will come in handy. You'll have an easier time getting a referral, and you can make appointments back-to-back.

2. Make sure their personality jives with your own.

It's important that your primary care physician is someone you feel comfortable being open and honest around. Arrange to meet the doctor in person for a consultation before you commit to being their long-term patient. If you instantly feel like your personalities don't click, they may not be the doctor for you. On the other hand, if you feel like you're chatting with a friend or family member, that's a sign they're a good fit.

3. Ask about online communication options.

Some doctors take a more old-fashioned approach and only offer in-office visits and communicate via phone. Others have started to offer virtual appointments, at least in some circumstances, and communicate with clients via email or even text. Make sure you're okay with the approach your chosen primary care physician uses. If you are a very high-tech, busy person, not being able to communicate via text may bug you pretty quickly.

If a certain primary care doctor does not seem to be a good fit for whatever reason, then move on to the next one. Your insurance company should be able to give you a list of providers in your area who accept your plan, and you can work your way down the list until you come upon someone who is the perfect fit. Start your search for a primary care physician.