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Are you looking for a new primary care doctor? Maybe you’re unhappy with your current one, or maybe you’ve moved to a new city or state.

If so, make sure to choose a professional you can trust and confide in. When you and your doctor work together as a team, you’ll ultimately get better health care, which, in turn, can help you live a better life. Try these tips from HealthFinder.gov to help you choose a doctor who’s right for you:

Ask for Recommendations
Getting a reference from someone you know is a great way to find a doctor. Ask friends, family members, neighbors or coworkers if they have a doctor they like. If you’re looking for a new doctor because yours is retiring or moving, ask your current doctor for a recommendation.

Check With Your Insurance Company
Your health insurance plan may require you to choose from a list of doctors in your plan’s network. Some plans may let you choose a doctor outside the network if you pay more of the cost. To learn more about your options, call your insurance company or check its website.

Research Your Top Choices
Make a list of the doctors you’re interested in. Be sure to think about how easy or difficult it’ll be to travel to an appointment. Call their offices to learn more about them.

Questions About the Doctor:

  • Is the doctor taking new patients?
  • Is the doctor part of a group practice? If so, who are the other doctors that might sometimes see or help treat you?
  • Which hospital does the doctor use?
  • If you have a medical condition, does the doctor have experience treating it?
  • Does the doctor have special training or certifications?

Questions About the Office:

  • Does it offer evening or weekend appointments?
  • What’s the cancellation policy?
  • How long will it take to get an appointment?
  • Can you get lab work and X-rays done in the office?
  • If you’re more comfortable speaking in a language besides English, is there a doctor or nurse who speaks that language?

Think About Your Experience
Once you’ve made a decision and go in for your first visit with a new doctor, evaluate your experience afterwards. Did the doctor and office staff…

  • Make you feel comfortable during your appointment?
  • Explain things in a way that was easy to understand?
  • Listen carefully to you?
  • Know important information about your medical history?
  • Spend enough time with you?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you may want to keep looking. As mentioned, you and your doctor should be a team working toward bettering your health.

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