There’s nothing better than having a trusted and reliable doctor who you can develop a relationship with over time. But what happens when your doctor retires, or you move to a new city? Suddenly, you’re left searching for a new doctor. The process can be stressful and filled with uncertainty. What can you do?
Finding the Right Doctor
In a large city, there are hundreds, if not thousands of doctors. So how you can you possibly find the right one for your needs? Sometimes, it helps to have a game plan.
- Create a Short List
“Nothing compares to the real-life insight of people you trust, so start by soliciting doctor recommendations from friends and family,” suggests Jon Bonnet, resident physician at Duke Medical Center. “Once you’ve gotten a few names (or if your request hasn’t turned up any good leads), take to the Internet.”
As you can probably guess, there are lots of online resources designed to help people just like you find the right doctor. Some of the top ones include BetterDoctor, DocFinder, and US News and World Reports. Use these resources to create a list of four or five doctors that appear to meet your requirements on paper.
- Do Some Research
It’s not enough to simply look at the letters next to a doctor’s name. Choosing a doctor is a highly personal process and it’s smart to spend a considerable amount of time vetting each doctor on your short list.
When researching various doctors, you should look at costs, doctor expertise, location and hours, patient testimonials, office amenities, board certifications, and anything else that’s relevant. The more you know, the better the decision you’ll make in the end.
- Visit the Doctor
Once you narrow your short list and come up with one or two doctors that you think will be good for you, go ahead and setup a consultation. Most doctors will offer free consultations and will be happy to sit down with you for 15 or 20 minutes to discuss your questions and concerns.
It’s also important to consider the other doctors in the practice. For example, who will you see if your doctor isn’t available? While you don’t have to love the other doctors, it is important that you’re comfortable being seen by them.
During the visit to the doctor, make sure you’re taking notice of everything. Is the waiting area clean? Are the receptionists helpful? How quickly are you seen? Little details like this matter when you’re sick and need to be seen.
- Check With Your Insurance Company
It’s important that you check with your insurance company before you get too far along in the process. You need to make sure the doctor accepts your insurance plan and that they’re in your network. Some insurance plans will still let you use an out of network doctor, but it might cost more.
- Trust Your Gut
Finding a new doctor can be a painstaking process. It’s not a lot of fun and can take a few weeks to sort through all of your options. And while there are a lot of practical things to think about – such as location, credentials, insurance, etc. – don’t boil the process down to a science. At the end of the day, you have to trust your gut. Does the doctor feel right for you? If you don’t feel comfortable, then continue your search until you find the right doctor.
- Feel Free to Switch
Just because you choose one doctor doesn’t mean you’re stuck with him. If you realize that you made the wrong choice, correcting the problem is as simple as going to another doctor. Knowing this should help relieve some of the pressure you feel to find the perfect doctor.
Learn More About Orion College
Have you ever considered a career in healthcare? It’s one of the most rewarding career paths around and can prove to be a profitable endeavor for those who are willing to make the sacrifices.