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How to choose a doctor in your new town

October 22nd, 2012 - 4:24 PM

Tips for finding a doctor in your new city
If you’ve ever had to find a new doctor for any reason, you know first-hand what a pain it can be.  If you’re planning a move soon (or you’ve already moved) it can be more of a challenge, especially if you’re not familiar with your new city and have yet to meet people who might be able to refer you.  If that’s the boat you’re in, here are some things you can do to help choose the best doctor for you and your family in your new town:

  • Ask for referrals.  Word of mouth is always a great tool.  Though you may not have too many friends to ask yet, if you’re starting a new job, talk to your co-workers, the HR department, etc. to see who they recommend.  This will also help ensure the doctor is in-network with your company’s insurance.
  • Get online referrals.  Now that the internet is so readily available, finding doctor reviews online is easy.  Some you might check with are www.healthgrades.com, www.vitals.com, and www.ratemds.com
  • Call around to different doctor’s offices.  You’ll need to know if they’re accepting new patients, and this is a great way to get familiar with how they run their office.  Is the receptionist friendly? Did he/she help answer all of your questions? Were you put on eternal hold?  Were you needs met in a timely manner?  Were they polite/rude?  Do their office hours work with your schedule?  How difficult is it to make an appointment?
  • Make an office visit.  An in-person visit is probably the best way to see if the doctor is a good fit for you and your family. 
One word of advice:  don’t start your search until you’ve compiled a list of wants and needs.  Know exactly what you’re looking for before you begin.  Since you likely don’t want to compromise when it comes to your health, don’t settle.  Keep looking until you find the match for your needs.