Changing Doctors - Do Your Homework


Ever been stumped about changing doctors? Whether your insurance changes, you move or you just want a new MD, the task of changing doctors can be daunting.

Doctor w Stethescope Image

Last week I called to make an annual appointment for my daughter. Guess what? Her doctor moved . . . to Iowa. Maybe I was caught me off guard, but I broke down in tears.

What next?

  • Ask for a referral - From the same practice, from a nurse, a neighbor or another doctor
  • Ask your insurance provider - Do they have a recommended doctor in the same specialty?
  • Do your background check - What are the office hours? How long do you have to wait for an appointment? Are there any reviews of the physician?

When making your choice, the Equal Employment Opportunity rules apply less than The Rules of Dating.

Chances are, the deeper you dig, the better information you can find. Get a repeat referral for the same physician? Having multiple people refer you to the same physician is a good sign you've found a keeper.

No need to carry on a relationship if you find your MD is always late, a poor communicator or too busy to see you. You can pick a doctor based on criteria important to you. But be realistic. Doctors are people, too.

So, why did I lose it?

I was broken up with and didn't even know it. I'll miss the relationship we had with Dr. Moved To Iowa because he was one of those people you could fall in love with, in a doctor-ish way. He was kind, used nice words even when the message was bad news, and he followed up.

Since my daughter was born with a rare eye condition, it was imperative we see a doctor as soon as possible. He made time for us. He literally provided a chance at sight that could have been lost. He then spent the next few years coaching us to be good parents and do the best we could to help improve the vision she had left.

So yes, I cried. Then I Googled him and sent a heartfelt thanks.

We'll survive changing doctors, just as soon as I gear up for our next First Date.

What do you do when changing doctors?

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