How to Choose a Doctor

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As a college student, I feel like people my age are expected to be adults in many ways, but they aren’t always properly prepared for the tasks they need to tackle. For example, I’m graduating next year, and, if all goes according to plan and I end up moving to a new area, I’ll need to get a new doctor. However, I have no idea how to choose one for myself! Experts, how should I go about picking a doctor and making an appointment? I know it’s a silly question, but nobody has ever explained this to me!


Never fear! While choosing a doctor in a new area can seem daunting, it isn’t quite as hard as it appears.


You’ve already conquered one obstacle: apathy. Americans don’t go to the doctor as often as they should, and that’s a problem. Having a primary care physician is a very important part of taking care of yourself. An annual checkup will help you keep track of important markers related to your well-being. It also gives your doctor a chance to catch potentially major health issues before they become more serious. A primary care physician will also be the person who connects you with specialists and other doctors, acting as both your first stop and your guide to more specialized care, if and when you need it.


So, how do you get a primary care physician? The starting point will most likely be your insurance policy. Not all doctors accept all insurance policies, so you’ll want to pick one who takes yours. Otherwise, simple visits might turn out to be quite pricey!


Fortunately, most insurance companies make it easy for you to find doctors in their networks. Once you have insurance in your new location, head to their website and look for a tool that will help you find a primary care provider. You should be able to view a list of doctors that accept your policy. From there, you should be able to narrow down the list based on various criteria, your searches for specific doctors, etc. You can also always call them if you’re still not sure!


Now that you have some options, which should you choose? It would be nice if all doctors were equally great, but that’s simply not the case. Some doctors make serious errors in judgment, which is why we have medical malpractice law, and professionals like medical malpractice lawyers in Syracuse. While it’s not a patient’s fault if they fall victim to a doctor’s malpractice, it’s always a good idea to choose your doctor wisely.


Fortunately, there are plenty of tools for checking out doctor’s reputations. Doctor reviews can be found on traditional review sites, as well as on specialized ones made specifically for medicine. You can also, of course, ask around the neighborhood or your office for recommendations. In fact, experts recommend you do this, and not rely solely on online reviews. Cross-reference this list with your insurance policy’s, and look for options!


Once you’ve chosen a doctor, don’t be afraid to change. If your first visit wasn’t everything that you thought it could be, try a new doctor! When you get a doctor you trust, you’ll be glad you went to the trouble.


“A healthy attitude is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” –Tom Stoppard