Looking For a New Doctor?
If you’re thinking of switching doctors in the next few months, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the options. Start with which practices are “in network” and therefore covered under your health insurance. This is the very first step before going any further. But even then, how do you know who will be the best fit for you? What is most important to you? Academic credentials? A great bedside manner? Don’t feel intimidated by the idea of interviewing a potential doctor. After all, you should have a relationship filled with trust, and you have to feel good about who you’re seeing. In fact, your health depends on it.
Here are 10 questions to ask when choosing a new doctor:
- Is this a group practice or individual? If it’s a group practice, will I always see the same physician?
- What hospital is this practice affiliated with?
- What days/hours does the doctor see patients? Is there a long wait to schedule appointments? Is there an on-call doctor in case of an urgent matter?
- Are there times set aside for doctors to take phone calls or respond to emails? What is his/her communication preference?
- Where can I find a list of referrals and reviews?
- Where is the doctor’s office located? What is the parking situation? Is the building accessible?
- Is the doctor board certified and what is their area of interest?
- What is the typical length of a visit?
- Next, ask yourself how your interaction with office staff was when you called. Were they friendly and helpful?
- Finally, trust your gut. If you get a good feeling, go with it, and if not, trust that intuition and look elsewhere.
It’s important to make your health a priority in the new year. Now is a great time to schedule those appointments to stay on top of all areas of your health: mind and body.