It can be difficult to find a new doctor. You want to make sure you’re making the best decision for your health, but you also don’t want to spend too much time researching and interviewing doctors. Here are six things to keep in mind as you search for a new doctor.
1. Choose a Doctor Whose Expertise Meets Your Needs
The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of doctor you need. There are many different types of doctors, and each one specializes in a different area. Do some research and find a doctor whose expertise meets your needs.
For example, general practice physicians can treat various illnesses, but they may not be the best doctor for you if you have a specific condition. If you have a chronic illness, you should seek a specialist who can help you manage your condition.
It’s also important to choose a doctor whose personality and values match your own. You’ll be spending time with your doctor, so you’ll want to make sure you’re compatible.
2. Consider Your Location
Another important factor to consider is your location. Do you want a doctor who’s close to home or work? Or are you willing to travel for the best care?
If you’re looking for a general practitioner, there are likely dozens of doctors in your area. But if you need a specialist, your options may be more limited.
Consider your lifestyle and needs when making your decision. If you have young children, for example, you may want a doctor who’s close by. If you’re retired, you may be willing to travel for the best care.
3. Determine Which Doctors Are ‘In-Network’
Before you begin your search for a new doctor, it’s important to determine which doctors are in-network with your insurance plan. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid any costly surprises when it comes time to pay for your visit.
To find out which doctors are in-network, simply check your insurance company’s website or call their customer service line. They should be able to provide you with a list of doctors in your area who are covered by your plan.
4. Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
If you’re not sure where to start your search, ask your friends and family for recommendations. They may have a doctor they love and trust, or they may know someone who’s had a good experience with a certain doctor.
You can also ask other healthcare professionals for recommendations. Your dentist, for example, may be able to recommend a good family doctor or pediatrician.
Keep in mind that not everyone’s experience with a doctor will be the same. Just because your friend had a good experience with a certain doctor doesn’t mean you will too. Do your own research and always ask lots of questions before making a decision.
5. Check if the Doctor Offers Same-Day Appointments
If you’re looking for a new doctor, you may need to see one right away. If that’s the case, it’s important to check if the doctor offers same-day appointments. You don’t want to be stuck waiting weeks or months for an appointment.
Unfortunately, it is also important to remember that there has been a reported physician shortage. The 2020 Association of American Medical Colleges Physician Shortage Report says that ‘population growth and aging’ will continue to be the main driver of increasing demand through 2033. During this time, the American population is expected to rise by 10.4%, from 327 million to 361 million people. That means that you might not be able to get an appointment with your desired doctor for some time. So, it is best to plan ahead and make appointments as soon as possible.
6. Schedule a Visit and Ask Questions
Once you’ve found a few doctors that interest you, it’s time to schedule a visit. During your visit, be sure to ask lots of questions. Get a feel for the doctor’s personality and find out if they’re a good fit for you.
It is recommended that you visit the doctor at least once a year. That way, you can stay on top of your health and catch any potential problems early. They can also recommend lifestyle changes and preventive care to keep you healthy.