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Tips on choosing a primary care doctor

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Finding a medical specialist is no problem, but the choices may become confusing when it comes to general medicine.

Three Suncoast medical practices are all busy taking care of patients with general medical needs, yet their practices offer different options depending on patients needs.

Robert Ford, M.D., PA, has been in family practice in Sarasota more than twenty one years and said he and his patients have a relationship built on trust.

"They come to me with questions about specialists, treatments and recommendations. And, all their general needs for wellness."

There are few times when he can't accommodate a patient, but he said when this happens, it helps to have walk in clinics.

Although there are patients with appointments said Joaquin Aristimuno, of Sarasota Medical Center in Sarasota walk ins are never turned away.

"The advantage of having two physicians or multiple locations," Said Dr. Aristimuno, (called Dr. A by his patients," "is that we can accommodate your needs at a moments notice."

Although some patients have a preference of which physicians they see, They are encouraged to see either of the two physicians if they are sick or ill.

"When people hear the word concierge medicine, most people think that they can't afford it." said Daniel Cooper of Cooper Concierge Medicine," he added, "And that, cannot be further from the truth."

All the cardiology and internal medicine care are included for a set fee explained Dr. Cooper.

"So, let's say, somebody who is in their fifties everything is included, for twenty five hundred dollars." These he said are some benefits. "You get your stress tests, your echo-cardiograms, your annual physicals, any and all visits and if you get admitted to the hospital I personally take care of you."

Another big change in primary care Said Dr. Ford is the growing number of physician extenders.

Nurse practitioners, there's all these care giver centers are opening up in Wallgreen's and Walmart.

"Keeping all the information together, is a challenge," Said Dr. Ford, "And, depending on the problem there are times patients may want to use these services."

Sarasota Medical Center and Dr. Robert Ford accept most insurance, Dr. Cooper said you only need insurance at Cooper Concierge Medicine for things not covered in your concierge agreement. such as surgeries, certain tests and treatments.

For more information on these practices, visit their websites.

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