Moving can be difficult and challenging. Once you’re done with all the packing and unpacking, there’s finding a new favorite grocery store, learning your way around town, and making new friends to help you settle in to your new home as quickly as possible. But what about finding a doctor? While you may not be in need of a check-up right away, you can’t predict when you’ll get sick and need an unexpected visit. Finding a new doctor in your new home town should be a priority.
But how do you go about finding one? There are a couple of ways you can find a doctor that will fit your needs.
Using Online Resources
If you have health insurance, visiting your insurance company’s website is a great place to start. All of the doctors you find there will be within your network so you already know they’ll accept your insurance. This is important because if you select an out-of-network doctor, you’ll be stuck paying the entire bill yourself with little chance of reimbursement from your insurance company.
If you don’t have health insurance, Healthcare.gov can help you find options for free and low cost care.
There are also a variety of websites to help you search for a primary care physician, a specialist, and even a dentist. They’ll even show you how these doctors rank with patient reviews. Give these sites a try:
Be sure to look for a doctor certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties to ensure you find a doctor who has gone through strict training in their field of specialty.
If your new home is near friends or family members, ask them which doctors they use. Talk to your new neighbors and get recommendations from them for doctors nearby. If you have kids in school, talk to the school office or parents of other kids in your child’s class to ask for recommendations.
Going to a reliable source will help you find a doctor that people you already know trust.
Another source for recommendations is your previous doctor. They may have a colleague in your new home town; someone they know from medical school or conferences that they trust.
Evaluating a New Doctor
There are a few things you should consider when you do find a potential new doctor.
First, you need to know if you’re looking for a primary care physician or a specialist. Think about the kind of medical care you need and find the type of doctor best suited to those needs. A primary care physician can handle your regular check-ups, blood work, and take care of you if you get a cold. A specialist is needed if you have specific health issues.
Visit the doctor’s website to learn more about their practice and get a feel for the personality of the office to see if it’s a good fit for you. Then call the office and make an appointment for an introductory visit to see how you feel about them.
Finding a new doctor is an important decision so take your time to find one that’s a good fit for your needs. And if you’ve recently moved, you may want to consider speaking to a budgeting specialist. New home? New job? New utility costs? These can all make a significant difference in how you approach money management. Make sure your spending and earning are in line by speaking to a nonprofit credit counselor. Counseling is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.