Our Choice

Dr. Ben Danielson

Dr. Ben Danielson is a physician and clinical professor at the Department of Pediatrics, UW School of Medicine. For more than 20 years, he was the medical director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, a pediatric care center built to serve the health needs of children in Seattle’s Central District. In November 2020, Danielson resigned from this position, citing institutional racism and resistance to change inherent in the leadership at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Danielson is a strong advocate for equitable health care and a very well-respected voice on the detrimental impacts of racism in health/health care in Washington state.

Born in Boston, Mass., Danielson was placed in and (in his words) “rescued” from foster care, to be raised by his single mother in Washington, D.C. and rural Montana. He graduated with a BA/BS degree in ethology from Harvard University in 1986 and received his medical degree from UW Medicine in 1992. He completed his residency at Seattle Children’s before assuming the leadership post at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in 1999.

A Conversation Guide for You and Your Doctor

Becoming the EXPERT over your health.

Finding a primary care provider (PCP) can be overwhelming. Your PCP is responsible for addressing your most essential health care needs. It is important that you find a provider who is a good fit and can accommodate your unique cultural or linguistic needs and meet you where you are on your wellness journey. You might know what you want in a provider but aren’t sure where to start. Do you ask a friend or a family member for a referral? Should you go through your insurance? What if you don’t have insurance? Should you interview a provider, and what questions should you ask?

Well, we’ve got you covered. Communication is the key to any relationship, especially when it comes to finding your primary care provider (PCP). Below is a list of steps and questions to help guide you through the process of finding the right PCP for you and increase your CONFIDENCE to make informed choices about your health and well-being.

Check with your insurance provider: If you have insurance, check the provider directory for a list of providers within your network. If you don’t have insurance, there are options for everyone at different income levels on the Affordable Care Act website. Here you can apply for an affordable health insurance plan and determine if you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

Research, Research, Research: It is essential to check the background and credentials of your possible PCP. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a great place to check the basics with their DocInfo.org search function. The more you know, the easier it will be to find a perfect fit.

Read Reviews: Websites such as CareDash, US News Doctors Ratings, WebMD Care, and Zocdoc have reviews from actual patients. In addition, you can search for doctors by city and state, conditions you want to address, and even by insurance. Remember, check multiple sites to get a better overall view of the care a PCP offers to patients.

Recommendations: Word of mouth is a terrific way to find a doctor. Asking your family, friends, or cultural organizations in your community for referrals can help you narrow down your list. Studies have shown that the more your doctor has in common with you, such as race, culture, language, or gender, the better you’ll respond to health care. Explore sites where you can find culturally sensitive physicians.

Consult a Patient Navigator or Community Health Worker: Many hospitals and clinics have patient navigators to assist patients with navigating through the health care system and ensuring that patients have access to information to make informed decisions. Ask your local hospital or clinic if they have patient navigators who can assist you on your journey to find the right PCP for you.

Schedule an Interview: Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of prospective doctors, set up a consultation with the doctor. This can be done in person or on a virtual call. Interview the provider like your life depends on it because one day it might. Prepare a list of health concerns to discuss, as well as a list of medications you’re currently taking. While interviewing the provider, note how the doctor communicates with you.

  • Does the doctor seem distracted, impatient, or rushed?
  • Does the doctor repeat your words to ensure they have a clear understanding?
  • Does the doctor provide clear answers to your questions?
  • Do you feel comfortable while voicing your concerns?
  • How do you feel after leaving the meeting with the provider?

Download our Free Conversation Guide