Your health needs don’t stay the same throughout life, so why should you just “go where you have always gone” for care? Explore the various types of women’s health care providers available to you—whether you need a gynecologic exam, are thinking about family planning/birth control, are considering becoming pregnant, or need help through menopause. Making this decision is personal and calls for thought about your unique needs, values, and beliefs.
Deciding on a Health Care Provider
There are many questions to consider as you determine what type of provider meets your health needs and can assist you in reaching your health care goals. Rather than just going to a provider because their office is nearest to you or continuing to get care where you “always have,” you deserve to find the best care possible. When you consider your choices, remember that you are interviewing health care providers for a job with you. So it’s important to research and meet with the people you are considering to ensure they can provide you with the services you need as well as meet your personal desires and values for your health. Some important questions to consider are:
- Do they have the right education and training? Did they graduate from a nationally accredited midwifery or medical education program? Are they licensed to practice?
- Do you feel comfortable talking to and spending time with them?
- Will they listen to your needs and desires so you can develop a care plan together?
- Can they meet your special requests, such as supporting your desires for birth options in the hospital setting, giving birth in a birth center or at home, prescribing medications, or offering education about nutrition and exercise to address your health care concerns?
- Do they accept your insurance? Does your insurance cover their services?
When you are considering a health care provider, not only what they can do, but how they do it matters. An important step to finding your health care match is to learn the differences in approach to care among various providers. Having a discussion and asking questions about the provider’s model of care will help you to find your best match.