If you are like me and have not found a good Doctor for years, or if you are unhappy with your current Doctor, it may be time to look for a new one. This is particularly relevant if you are a Baby Boomer facing an increasing risk of developing health issues in your 50s-70s.
Today, I’m happy to report that I have found such a Health Professional. But it hasn’t been easy!
So I thought it may to be pertinent to share a few tips that I employed in my quest:
1. Solicit information from family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. Often, they or someone they know may have found exactly the sort of Doctor you need and can refer you personally.
2. If you have a particular health issue, research will allow you to make sure you and your doctor are on the same page as far as treating your condition is concerned. However, when researching your health issue make sure to only use reputable websites.
3. Look for reviews or testimonials of Health Professionals on independent web sites. The Doctor that I found was the only one on myDr.com.au that had been reviewed by several women as being a competent practitioner and good listener. Fortuitously, she was located literally down the road from me.
If you have too many options to choose from, sort out the best to try by asking yourself,
*Where would you be willing to go in order to see your doctor?
*If you are driving, then is parking an issue?
*How much does parking cost?
*Does your doctor’s age matter? An older doctor will probably have more experience than a younger doctor. But an older doctor is probably closer to retirement than a younger doctor, which means you will end up repeating the doctor search sooner.
*Do you prefer a male or female, a GP, Physician Nurse Practitioner or Alternative Health Professional?
*Can you afford to pay or do you need one that Bulk Bills (for Australians only)?
Questions to Ask the Doctor’s Office Personnel
Call the doctor’s office and ask the questions below. If they are unable to answer the questions and/or if they take a long time to get back to you, then you may want to take this into consideration when making your decision on your new doctor.
*One of the first questions you need to ask is whether or not the doctor is taking new patients.
*Which hospitals does the doctor use? You want to be sure that he/she uses one that you are comfortable going to in case you need to be hospitalized.
*Does the doctor see patients with urgent issues on the same day you call?
*Will their office process Medicare or insurance claims or do you have to do the paperwork?
*Does the doctor/staff accept questions via email?
*What is the policy on cancellations?
Questions to Ask the Doctor
When you go in for your first office visit there are things you should note:
*Whether or not the office staff is professional and friendly. This is important since you will frequently interact with them.
*Does the doctor manage his/her patient care most of the time or does he/she prefer to send patients to specialists?
*IS the doctor’s health management style collaborative or a “take charge” style. You will want your doctor’s style to be one you are comfortable with so that planning for your health care needs will be much easier to deal with.
Take the time NOW to find the right Doctor and you will be prepared for when you really need it. Good luck !
You know you’re a Baby Boomer when….
You may no longer be able to see your toes, but you definitely know how it goes -don’t put up with health professionals that are on the nose!