You probably would be happy if you found the perfect doctor and the two of you stuck together forever. And sometimes, the doctor-patient relationship does last for a long time. But circumstances change. Maybe you move, your doctor retires or you no longer feel like your doctor is a good match for you.
Choosing a new doctor can feel overwhelming. Here are a few factors to consider when you’re looking for the best partner for your health care and your lifestyle.
Would you feel more comfortable with a doctor of a particular gender? Many people prefer to discuss certain concerns, such as symptoms of menopause or erectile dysfunction, with a doctor who shares their gender. Other people don’t have a preference.
Would you prefer a doctor who’s close to your age, or older or younger? You might also want to consider the age group your doctor specializes in. Some doctors treat people of all ages, so everyone in your family can get care from the same doctor. Others specialize in caring for adults. And geriatricians focus their care exclusively on older adults.
Race and religion
Your race, religion, cultural beliefs and practices may factor into your health care needs. For example, you might fast as part of a religious observance. So, you may want to choose a doctor who shares your background.
You’ll want a doctor who sees patients in a location that’s convenient for you. If you drive, find out where you can park. If you use public transit, make sure there’s a stop nearby.
Sometimes, it can be faster, easier and safer to connect with your doctor via video. If you want to have the option of video visits, make sure your doctor offers them.
Many doctors share a sentence or two on their web pages that summarizes their approach to care. And some also have a short intro video where you can learn more about their background and practice, similar to the profiles found on Banner’s Find a Doctor tool. Looking over this information can help you decide if the first impression feels right to you.
You’ll want your doctor to be affiliated with a hospital that’s convenient for you in case you need hospital care.
If you’re more comfortable communicating in a language other than English, you may prefer to see a doctor who speaks that language.
You’ll want to find a doctor who accepts your insurance coverage and is considered in-network if you have a plan that includes different levels of coverage for in-network and out-of-network services.
Training and certification
Where your doctor attended medical school, where they served as a resident and whether they are board-certified in any specialty areas might factor into your decision.
Ratings and reviews
Online ratings and reviews can help you understand how other people feel about a doctor. Reading their comments can make you aware of the positive and negative factors that resonated with other patients.
The bottom line
Choosing a new doctor for yourself or your family might feel daunting. But you can make the process easier by thinking about what’s important to you and narrowing the options based on your preferences. To help find a health care provider that’s a good fit for you, visit bannerhealth.com.