The majority of people will stick to one family doctor for the years they spend in a certain area, and never give a second thought to their primary physician. Then, when they move somewhere else, they can feel slightly lost when looking for a new one. It goes without saying that you need a good go-to doctor to manage your health properly, so finding one isn’t something you can afford to rush through. Here’s some of the best advice on finding a good doctor…
Choose Expertise That Suits Your Needs
Once you’ve done a quick Google search for local practices, you can begin to narrow your choices down. Rather than choosing the practice that’s closest to where you live, you should look for one that fits your needs closely. Family practices will be able to treat patients of all ages, and the doctors who practice there will have generations of experience dealing with anyone from newborns to the elderly. Internal medicine practices typically treat adults only and will specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and chronic conditions. General practices are more or less the same as family practices but have a higher chance of being able to provide osteopathic treatments, which can be handy for sporty types. Take some time considering your needs before narrowing down your search any further.
Get Some Referrals
Naturally, you may feel more comfortable going to a doctor recommended by someone you know, such as a family member or friend. This is a great way to guide yourself towards doctors who will really listen and adjust their methods to their patients and to make sure you avoid the incompetent quacks or even doctors with a history of medical negligence. You may be reading this because you’re not totally settled into a new area, but make a point of asking around and seeing who your friends and co-workers go to. You may even want to ask other health professionals in the area, such as your personal trainer, dentist, and so on. If you haven’t moved yet, and you trust your current doctor’s judgment, see if they have any recommendations local to the area you’re going to.
Visit the Candidate
Of course, nothing can really determine whether or not a doctor is a good match for you quite like a visit to their office and meeting them in person. Make sure that you feel comfortable enough in the practice and with the behavior of the doctor and any other staff. Obviously, competence is the most important thing in a doctor, but your doctor should always be someone you can trust and rely on for managing your health care properly. Talk to them about any medications you’re currently taking, along with your medical history, and make sure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to managing any long-term diseases or chronic conditions you might have. Aside from various environmental factors of the practice, the most important thing is that you feel the doctor is listening to you, rather than just hearing.
What’re Your Thoughts?
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.