How Do You Go Doctor Shopping?
One of the worst parts about moving is having to find a new doctor… actually make that doctors. You have your normal go to when you’re sick doctor, your baby having doctor, your doctor for your babies, your eye doctor, your dentist, your head doctor… and depending on who you are, maybe even more! When it comes to matching up insurance companies, personalities that match (at least most of) what you’re hoping for, and location… finding new doctors can be tricky.
I’ve only had to do this a couple of times, so I have a couple of pieces of advice. Please note that this is just advice on finding a good fit doctor – if you’re in some emergency situation (i.e. bleeding, vomiting, can see bones… you get the point!) please just get yourself to an emergency room!
1. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors… even the lady checking you out at the grocery store. Ask whoever you can for referrals. If people love their doctor, they typically don’t have any problem telling you. If they don’t love their doctor, they typically don’t have any problem telling you that either! You can always ask people about specific situations when they were really pleased (or displeased) with their doctor.
2. Search for your doctor online. Type in their name and see what the world of the interwebs has to say. Do know that you shouldn’t put ALL of your faith into the “RateMyDoctor” sites, but it can’t hurt to see what’s there. When I moved to WA, I ended up going to see a particular GP because of some poetry I found that she had published online. Sounds weird, but that really made me more comfortable around her.
3. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to meet your doctor. Most insurance companies cover one well visit a year. Some doctors even offer “meeting” appointments just so you can say hi. What you should really try NOT to do is wait until you have a fever of 103, or find out you’re 3 months pregnant to start trying to find a doctor you like. When you’re more relaxed, you can really make sure a doctor offers what’s important to you.
So I say all of this as I’m working on finding our new doctors. So far I’ve got an appointment for Atticus’s 2 year check up (Albeit in August when he turns 2 in June…. Guess that means people like this guy…) and a couple of leads on an OBGYN. I had one big strike out with a GP when I was sick recently… but hey – I had a fever and after she gave me antibiotic I eventually got better. So that’s not a total loss.
Anyway, what is YOUR advice for finding a doctor? We’ll still working on it here, and I’d love to have some help!
Meet Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010.