• How to Find the Best Primary Care Physician in San Francisco

    by Dr. Payal Bhandari
    on Oct 3rd, 2017

Why Have a Primary Care Physician?

Developing a partnership with a medical practitioner has incredible benefits, especially in a big city like San Francisco. In smaller towns, people tend to have family doctors that they’ve worked with since birth. In San Francisco, where people are often transient or new to the city, organizing quality health care can be difficult when there are many doctors and specialists involved.   

Having a local physician in San Francisco who is familiar with your medical history, including family background, former illnesses, and records of exams and test results is an invaluable resource. It ensures you will have the best and most appropriate medical care. There is also the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly who to turn to when a health crisis arises. To lay the foundation for this kind of partnership, finding the best primary care physician in San Francisco is the first step.

Qualities of a Good Primary Care Physician

Ideally, you wouldn’t just have a primary care physician, but one of the best primary care physicians. A doctor who is truly devoted to their work and to the well-being of their patients will have certain qualities. Below are the top qualities to look for when you are trying to find a primary care physician.

A Calm and Understanding Bedside Manner

Being a welcoming and responsive medical practitioner requires a level of compassion and open mindedness. The medical office should be welcoming. If a patient has questions about a treatment, or a concern about a side effect, they should be able to voice this without fear of being belittled or having their concerns diminished. It is important that a patient feels listened to, and has a primary care physician who is attuned to all facets of their lives, not just the physical symptoms they currently display. A philosophy of health care that focuses on the total individual experience, not just the physical body, is known as integrative healthcare.

Experience in Integrative Treatment

The open mindedness necessary in an effective doctor often leads to an integrative health practice. Integrative medicine views the patient as a whole and takes all of the various life factors into consideration during treatment. Often confused with alternative medicine, which uses non-traditional therapies in place of conventional treatment, integrative healthcare instead aims to improve or maintain health throughout an individual’s life by understanding the total circumstances supporting their health.

Along with the physical manifestation of health, an integrative doctor will also view the mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental facets of life as necessary components of complete wellness. Technology and modern treatment is used whenever it is effective. This creates a foundation of optimal health.

Focus on Preventive Medicine

Rather than solely focusing on treatment of disease, the best primary care physicians will take a preventive approach. Many health problems begin before an individual is aware of them and before they experience any symptoms at all. Anticipating possible health issues and taking steps to avoid them should be the goal of an effective doctor-patient partnership. The best primary care physician will focus on preventing, and not merely treating disease. Some preventive health care strategies include dietary education, stress reduction, and healthy exercise.

Will Treat Patients of All Ages

It takes a knowledgeable and experienced physician to treat a patient throughout the entirety of their lives. The best primary care physician will have an understanding of the changing health needs of a person throughout the spectrum of life. This means a doctor who sees patients of all ages and treats them as they progress through the changes in their lives. Ideally, a family physician has knowledge of pediatrics, gynecology, obstetrics and geriatrics.

Skill in Treatment of Illness

Even the best preventive care cannot eliminate illness. To be an effective practitioner, the best primary care physician will have experience with treating illnesses of all kinds. This is another area where having a practice that includes all age groups is valuable. An experienced family doctor will have the knowledge necessary to treat a variety of health problems, as well as the discretion to know when a specialist’s skills are required. Integrative health incorporates modern technology and treatments into patient care where it is appropriate and effective. The ideal family physician has the best equipment and technology on hand and is skilled at knowing when and how to use it.

Find the Best Primary Care Physician in San Francisco

Dr. Payal N. Bhandari, MD thoroughly embraces and practices the philosophy of integrative health. As an experienced family doctor for over 16 years, she treats patients of all ages. She has the compassion, empathy, and knowledge necessary to care for families throughout their lifespan. Her office is up to date on the best modern healing technologies available.

If you are looking for the #1 primary care physician rated by the San Francisco Examiner in 2016, reach out to Dr. Payal N. Bhandari, MD for a consultation by  booking an appointment.

Author Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

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