7 tips to help you choose the right doctor
There’s a lot to do when you move to a new place. Finding a doctor should be one of them. James Shuman, MD, offered these tips to help you choose the right doctor for you and your family.
- Think about the location. While this isn’t the number one thing most people think about when choosing a new doctor, it is important. You don’t want to have a doctor who is completely out of your way to visit. Choose an option that is nearby and convenient.
- Review your health insurance coverage. Make sure the doctor you choose is in your network so you can get the most out of your health insurance coverage.
- Find a doctor who specializes in your healthcare needs. If you have specific healthcare needs, it is important to find a doctor who has expertise with your specific health condition.
- Consider availability. If you need to see a doctor as soon as possible either go online to find out which doctors are accepting new patients or call the practice to ask if they have a doctor that is accepting new patients.
- Ask around for recommendations. Ask family and friends in the area what doctor they would recommend. Referrals are a great way to get started on your journey to finding a new doctor.
- Research the doctor online. There is a lot of information that can be reviewed online, including reviews and ratings. Be sure to check them out as part of your research. Some doctors have video profiles that can give you some insight into their personality and approach to care.
- Understand the doctor’s network. Look into the network the doctor is part of to understand the services available to you as a patient should you need care beyond an office visit, such as imaging, labs or surgery.
Go for a visit to meet the doctor. The best way to get to know a doctor is to meet them in person. Call the office and schedule a time to meet with the doctor before committing to their practice.
The best time to schedule a visit with a new doctor is when you’re well, so you both can get to know one another without the added pressure of a health crisis. A concise general physical and lab screening, even when healthy, may reveal a condition that is not yet showing signs or symptoms. “Preventive medicine is the preferred approach to health, but even if a condition cannot be prevented, early treatment is often associated with better outcomes,” said Dr. Shuman.
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