First 30 Days Blog

19 dec

6 Ways to Find a New Primary Care Doctor

RobertCordrayOne of the most important decisions you can make for yourself and your family has to do with choosing the right doctor. As such, it’s not a decision to be made lightly. After all, there’s so much riding on the decision and so many different factors to consider that many people would rather put off the choice for as long as possible. However, many people have absolutely no idea where they should even be looking to find a new doctor. These people may often settle on the first doctor that they find, completely unaware that other options are available. So, in an effort to give these people (and anyone else who might be interested) a better chance at finding a doctor that is perfect for their situations, here are six different ways to find a new doctor beyond wandering into the first office you come across.

1. Ask the people you trust

If your friends, extended family, or other loved-ones that live in your area are satisfied with their doctors, then ask around and see if you can get any good references. You might end up simplifying the entire process if you can get a great referral right off the bat.

2. Check online reviews

If you’re not getting anywhere with the people you know, extend your search outwards to include reviews from people you don’t know. The internet is a great tool when it comes to finding the right doctor, in part because you can use it to find sites that post patient reviews and ratings of doctors. They’re generally easy to use—simply provide your location and what kind of doctor you’re looking for (“primary care doctor in phoenix,” for example), and see what kind of returns you get. Alternately, you can search for reviews on specific doctors and see what previous patients have to say. ZocDoc, Patientfusion and Yelp are good places to look for reviews on your local doctors.

3. Use a hospital referral service

If you want to know where to find a good doctor, you might as well go straight to the source. The hospital is absolutely chock-full of people who know more about medicine than you do, so checking to see if they offer a doctor referral service makes perfect sense. If they do, the hospital will be able to put you in contact with a doctor that is not only well qualified and highly rated, but is also nearby. If your hospital doesn’t offer a doctor referral service, then consider asking the staff for personal recommendations.

4. Request a list of covered doctors from your insurance provider

You’d have to involve your insurance provider in your decision eventually, so you may as well just start with them. Your insurance company will be able to give you a list of which doctors are covered. Once you have a few names, you can do a little research and look for reviews.

5. Ask your current doctor

If you’re going to be moving and need to find a good doctor in a new area, consider asking your current doctor if he or she knows and could recommend anyone. There’s a good chance that your current doctor may have a trusted colleague or friend to which you could be referred. Even if your doctor doesn’t have anyone in mind, he or she might still be willing to do some checking around for you in order to find someone who will meet your needs.

6. Check the phonebook

This probably shouldn’t be the first place you look, but if none of your other attempts at finding the right doctor have panned out, then the phonebook (or its internet-based equivalent) can at least give you another path to follow. Just be sure that you do all of the necessary follow-up research once you find a few promising names. After all, just because a doctor has an advertisement in the yellow pages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s the right choice. Only use the yellow pages as a starting point, and follow up with a more thorough investigation afterwards.

Finding a doctor can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. With a little effort and lot’s of patience, you’ll be able to locate the right primary care doctor for you and your family. Let’s just hope that you don’t have to move again any time soon…

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Posted by Robert Cordray on December 19th, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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