Jun 11

Choosing a New Doctor

If you’ve recently moved, gotten a new job, or a new insurance plan, you maybe be faced with the task of finding a new doctor. Since we must trust our doctors with our health and very lives, it’s a very important one. Your health insurance provider may have given you a list of doctors in your area but which one do you choose? It takes a lot more than just choosing one off that list. There are several factors to keep in mind. Are they conveniently located? Do they have flexible office hours? Both are important. You also need to know you can trust them to provide excellent care. You can start with word of mouth. Ask around to friends, coworkers and family in the area and ask them about their doctors and who they recommend.

If this isn’t helpful, choose some names from the list provided to you that are nearby and have convenient office hours and run them through Google. The internet is a wonderful resource, and there are several sites devoted to reviewing and rating doctors. You can find out where they went to school, what their patients think of them, and more. You can even use Google to help with finding a history of doctor malpractice. Most of the review sites offer this information. You can also contact your state medical board. Running their name through Google may also bring up news stories. Read them carefully!

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, call each office and ask if you can come by and talk to the doctor. If the office staff is rude to you on the phone, do not ignore this red flag! Pay attention to how your questions are answered. Are the doctor and his staff friendly and open? Are they patient when answering your questions or do they seem curt and evasive? Observe carefully. If you have any reservations at all, even if it’s just a gut feeling, move on to another doctor.

 When you find a good doctor, remember to be a great patient. Always show up promptly for your appointments, cancel within the requested time frame, and always be polite. Don’t demand antibiotics for a cold or refuse to follow the doctor’s orders. Try to be understand when the doctor is running late. Yes, it’s rude and frustrating, but most of the time it is not the doctor’s fault. They may have had an emergency, or they were held up by a patient that showed up 30 minutes late yet demanded to be seen anyway, the most common cause of schedule delays.