How to choose the right doctor for me after a move?

When you move to a new home, there are obviously plenty of things to do until your life gets back on track. Many of those things are not urgent and you will eventually get to completing them with time – getting to know your immediate neighborhood and the city in general, socializing with coworkers and neighbors, finding a new hobby to keep you entertained and so on. However, some tasks should have a very high priority for you, such as finding a job (if you haven’t done so already), selecting a good school for your children (if applicable) and of course, choosing a new family physician. So, the question remains, “How to find a new doctor that is right for me?”

Seek advice

The best way to begin the hunt for a suitable doctor is to ask friends, coworkers and family members if they know of a good physician in your new area. Or, ideally, ask your current primary care physician if they know a good colleague of theirs in your new destination. And while a recommendation can help you considerably narrow down your candidate winners, have in mind that each patient has different needs and a doctor that is the best option for a friend of yours may not be necessarily a good choice for you. Make sure you follow up a recommendation with the question, “What exactly do you like about your doctor?” instead of accepting the advice at face value.
Moreover, a good option under the circumstances will be to visit the local hospital and speak with the chief of medicine there or clinical nurses, and politely poll their opinions – after all, nurses work with various doctors on a daily basis and are well qualified to give you a valuable tip on who your physician should be.

Conduct an online search

It’s a great idea to visit the website of your medical insurance company and look for a suitable primary care physician or a specialized doctor within your network. In case you don’t have health insurance, then you should check out the site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for free or low cost health care. Other websites that can help you find a trustworthy specialist include: the American Medical Association, the Doctor Directory and others.

A word of advice: before you make your final decision, don’t forget to arrange an appointment and meet your future physician in person. Even a short talk with them will reveal much about their personality, professionalism and competency, and besides, you will have a fair chance of asking them the important questions. But above all, just trust your instincts.

 

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