2023 is the self-proclaimed year of success, improved physical health, and restored mental clarity. Many of us have had a rough couple of years, but this just highlights that now is the best time to get up, dust yourself off, and take care of your health!
You might find yourself looking for a new doctor. You could be looking simply because you haven’t established a permanent provider, you’ve moved recently, or you have to change doctors.
Whatever the reason, choosing your new doctor is critical for your physical health. You can doctor shop until you find the perfect doctor rather than settling on the most convenient option. We are here to share some helpful tips for finding the best doctor because this is the best approach for your health and physical well-being.
Why A Good Doctor Really Matters
Does a good doctor really matter? A doctor’s a doctor, right?
No, not every doctor is created equal. Everyone has different needs, and you should find a doctor that fits these needs and makes you feel comfortable and safe. You should not choose the first doctor in your area code.
A good doctor will also show more care and interest in your physical and mental health. Here are some examples of what your doctor can do to express concern and investment in your health:
- Advise you on preventing illnesses and injuries by suggesting appropriate screenings and immunizations.
- Connect you with a specialist if you require more expert assistance with a medical condition.
- Respects you and acts accordingly.
- Pays attention and remembers your views and feelings.
- Invites you to ask more questions.
- Clarifies things in simple and understandable terms.
It’s possible that some of these actions might save your life or, at the very least, make things significantly more comfortable.
How To Know When It’s Time For A New Doctor
If you already have a doctor, but are considering replacing them, ask yourself these questions.
- Does your current physician answer all your questions?
- Is your physician relatively easy to get a hold of (i.e., does he return your calls or emails in a reasonable timeframe)?
- Does your physician advocate for you and your health?
- Do you feel comfortable with your physician and their practices?
- Does your physician always listen to your wants or needs?
- Does your physician work well with others?
If any of the above questions leave you re-examining your current situation, it might be time to find a new doctor. You do not have to settle for anything less than exceptional regarding your health and medical needs.
Tips To Find The Best Doctor In 2023
Finding the best doctor in 2023 can be challenging. Sometimes the options and logistics can be overwhelming. But it is worth a little extra time and effort because of the comfort, trust, and respect you can build long-term with your physician.
Here are some tips for finding the best doctor for your personal and physical needs!
- Decide What You Need
One of the first things you should do is narrow down your options based on your needs. If you have any medical conditions, you should look for a doctor that specializes in or has a positive rapport with handling your medical conditions.
A primary care doctor may be the best choice for many people, but others might want to look for a specialist with experience in one field. Whichever you decide, it should be catered to your current physical circumstances.
- Focus On What You Want
Believe it or not, your wants are just as important as your needs. You want a doctor who fits with your personality and understands you. Your personal preferences and physician compatibility can make all the difference.
For example, what is your doctor’s communication style? Does it match your own communication style? Communicating effectively with your physician is key to making headway with your health.
- Make Sure You’re Comfortable
You should be comfortable with your physician. Your physician should show respect and provide a safe environment. It shouldn’t be made worse by discomfort and poor professionalism.
This isn’t all about the doctor, either. The staff in the department should also make you feel comfortable, answer any questions you have, respond with courtesy, and show overall empathy to patients.
- Check Your Insurance Coverage
You might be looking for a new doctor simply because your insurance stopped covering your previous one. Insurance policies are frustrating, as they can feel limiting. But verifying coverage before committing to a new doctor is incredibly important.
You should first call your insurance company and ask for a list of physicians in their coverage. Some insurance companies have an easy-to-navigate website where you can find the list online. Next, you should call the doctor’s office and ensure the office works with your insurance.
Once you establish a mutual relationship between your insurance provider and potential physician, you can set up your first appointment.
- Get A Referral
Referrals and recommendations are a great way to find an honest and respectable physician. You can reach out to friends and family members to ask about their experience with a specific doctor. You can also talk to coworkers that might have the same insurance plan about their experiences with the doctors in the area.
And finally, you can also do more research online. You can find insurance and medical forums where people discuss specific clinics and doctors and share their experiences. You can read genuine reviews from others that have visited with a particular doctor.
These first-hand experiences help you get a good idea of the professional nature of your future physician and whether they might be a good match for you.
- Know The Office Policies
Office policies are another important factor to consider before committing to a new physician, as they might not mesh well with your preferences or scheduling needs.
Some examples of office policies to consider are the office hours, whether or not the doctor does house calls, how far in advance you should make an appointment, the urgent care process, who is in charge of patient care when the doctor is away, and whether or not the doctor accepts emailed questions.
Depending on your situation, some office policies may be dealbreakers or dealmakers.
- Consider All The Logistics
Necessary logistics include location, availability, telemedical options, and pricing. You might want to choose a doctor that is relatively close to your home or office. However, you may be able to look past the address if the doctor is over-qualified for your needs and wants. The doctor’s availability may be critical, especially if you frequently call or make appointments.
These logistics are significant before you commit to a new full-time doctor, and the vital logistics may differ from person to person. You need to decide which factors are most influential to you and decide with the relevant weight attached to each logistic.
- Reflect On Your First Doctor’s Visit
You’ve chosen a doctor, scheduled your first medical appointment, and just finished your very first check-up. Now it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to stick with this physician or try another.
Ask yourself a few more questions before making any further commitments:
- Did the doctor make you feel comfortable from start to finish?
- Did the doctor seem to respect you, your thoughts, and your feelings?
- Was the doctor easy to understand?
- Did you feel the doctor spent enough time with you?
- Did the doctor encourage questions and further discussion with you?
Your first visit with your potential physician will tell much more about this doctor than any other research and preparation.
Other Important Factors To Consider
If you want to narrow your focus, here are a few more things to consider before choosing your next doctor.
- Field Of Certification. If the doctor is board certified, the area of certification may be relevant to you and your medical needs.
- Language. You may be concerned about communication if you don’t speak English as your first language. It might be a plus if someone is working in the office who speaks your native language.
- Group Practice Vs. Individual Practice. A doctor’s office will be connected to a group or personal practice. You should decide whether this is important to you and go from there.
These may not be relevant or important to everyone, but they are worth considering. Remember, you want the best possible doctor for you and nothing less!
Tips And Resources For Finding The Best Doctor For You
There is no point in wasting precious time and resources on a mediocre doctor who doesn’t seem to understand, care, or learn about your specific needs. There are too many doctors, and life is simply too short.
So, if you find yourself in the market for a new doctor, don’t settle. You can find a great long-term doctor who works well with everything you’d want in a medical provider.
We hope the above tips and resources help you make an informed approach to weeding out the “bad” doctors and matching with the best doctor.
Your health and well-being are of the utmost importance. This is not something you should skimp on. Your doctor can genuinely make all the difference regarding your physical, mental, and emotional health.