If you’ve relocated to a new area recently, changed insurance plans or are simply not satisfied with your current primary care doctor, it may be time to search for a new family physician. While this may seem like a simple task that requires little thought or effort, it’s actually a very important decision for you and your family. Here are three things to consider when you switch to a new doctor.
Start your search by deciding if proximity to the school, work or home matters most to you. (For options in Houston, Texas, click here.) You’ll also want to research which types of insurance the office accepts to avoid out of network costs and fees. Finally, make sure the practice accepts patients of a particular age, depending on your family’s specific needs.
Doctor to Patient Ratio
You’ll need to find out which doctors are accepting new patients, but you may also want to ask how busy a certain physician’s schedule tends to be. While booking an annual checkup in advance probably won’t be a problem, will you have a difficult time being seen promptly for an illness? If the earliest your doctor can see you is two to three days after your symptoms become a problem, you may want to consider another option.
Check to see which types of procedures and testing are available at the office. Some smaller practices may have to send patients elsewhere for basic lab work and standard medical procedures. This means you’ll have to schedule additional appointments for outsourced testing. While it may not seem like a problem at first, it should probably impact your decision if you have young children or limited time for sick leave. Depending on the location, it could also impact your schedule and budget for travel.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your family receives quality medical care. Some extra research can help you find the best option for your situation.