Looking for a New Doctor

Finding a new doctor involves a number of steps.  First, you need to consider why you need a new doctor.  Then you need to begin a broad search, contacting one or two doctor referral services, talking to friends, and tapping into other information resources.  After you gather names of doctors taking new patients, you need to interview the doctors who meet your criteria.  

Five reasons for looking for a new GP
1. Your GP is retiring, moving or closing the practice.

2. You are a new resident in the area.
3· Your GP has behaved inappropriately or unprofessionally.
4· You have difficulty communicating with your GP.
5· You and your GP have philosophically different approaches to health care.

Different Approaches to Looking for a Doctor

Usually a GP who decides to close a practice provides his or her patients with the names of several other doctors.  Some people are satisfied taking their GP's recommendation, and others prefer to find a new doctor on their own.  Let's take a look at the experience of five people who shared the same doctor and how they dealt with the news that their GP was moving to another city.
Karey, Lee, Devon, Alfred , and Chelsea each considered how their needs would be met by assessing each doctor's personal and professional manner.  Each preferred doctors who communicated freely and displayed understanding, knowledge, trust, and openness.  To achieve a successful exchange with the doctor, they realized that they too had to communicate.

By determining which doctor they could achieve this level of exchange with meant deciding what they wanted in a doctor.

 First, they listed questions to help them decide what they were looking for in a doctor.  That list set the stage for the search and helped them ask concise questions.  Then they evaluated the doctors' responses to their questions and, after assessing their personal impressions, made a final decision.  Each took responsibility for his or her role in the patient-doctor relationship, which will ultimately contribute to better health care for them.

In the process, Karey, Lee, Devon, Alfred and Chelsea each concluded that developing a trust in their doctor's ability to treat them depended on a gut feeling and their later experience with the doctor.  Apart from liking and trusting the doctor, these patients also trusted their own instincts as to what felt good for them.

Five considerations to keep in mind when choosing a doctor
I. Does the doctor listen to what you say?

2. Do you feel comfortable with the doctor's personality?
3· Are you comfortable with the doctor's communication style?
4· Does the doctor share your views on healthcare approaches?
5· Are you interested in listening to what the doctor says?

The criteria you choose will influence the time and energy you spend at the various stages. Of course, other considerations, such as your age and health, influence the type of questions you ask and which doctor you choose to advise you on health care.