What are the most important questions to ask my primary care doctor?

1. Are you board certified? This is an absolute must. Never see a physician that isn't board certified.

2. Where do you admit patients? This will let you know what hospital to use if necessary.

3. Do you take care of patients in the hospital? This is good to know. If your doctor says yes, you should ask how many hospitalized patients does he/she see every year and who covers the hospital when he/she is not available.

4. Who answers your calls and how do I get in touch with you? Some practices use answering services, which are okay, but sometimes you need to speak with the doctor.

5. What is your after hours and weekend availability?
You don't control when you get sick, so you need to know who will see you at night or on the weekend and where. Some physicians may have special hours during the weekends for emergencies. Others may just tell you to go to the emergency room.