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  • Dr. Gina Simone

Doctor Shopping

Updated: May 19, 2020

It’s understandable how important it is to find a nice, safe car. No one wants to end up on the side of the road with clouds of smoke coming from the hood. So people will research, test drive, and negotiate prior to signing those papers. Finding the perfect car can take some people weeks before they decide on the car they truly want. Interestingly enough, I recently noticed that most people spend more time and energy choosing a car than choosing a doctor. Most people think that purchasing a car is a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, when it comes to picking a doctor…not so much.

Usually people that look for a doctor do one of the following:

  • Pick a doctor that takes their insurance.

  • Choose the clinic that is closest to their house.

  • Decide on the provider that has the highest scores on online reviews.

  • Pick the first doctor that pops up in the search engine.

Are these ways quicker? Sure, but there is more to consider. The patient-doctor relationship has a direct effect on the quality of medical care provided. Every patient deserves to have individualized care and this can only be provided by a healthcare provider that you “click” with. Since this is an investment in health, you should take the time and choose a doctor like you would a car.

Decide On The Features:

What exactly are you looking for in a physician? Do you want someone who will listen or someone efficient in their time? Do you prefer traditional medicine or alternative medicine? Do you want to see the same person each visit or change up with providers and locations? Before going out to look for a physician, it’s important to know what type of person or characteristics would help provide the best care. When choosing a car, you wouldn’t buy a mini-van if you want a pick up truck. You’d be miserable. The same applies when picking a doctor. Don’t try to make that car fit you if it’s the wrong model.

Do Your Research:

I can’t stress this enough! Check the credentials of the doctor. In our previous post, “…They Just Play One On TV,” we gave you many tools that can help confirm the license of a physician. Also, if you prefer a board certified doctor, that information may also be available online, per the specialty. For healthcare providers, there are more and more online companies offering information about the doctor and allowing for reviews. It’s good to take online reviews into consideration, but also try to talk to others who may have seen that particular doctor before.

Schedule A Test Drive:

Because of the investment, many cars are not purchased “sight unseen.” As with doctors, most offices will allow potential patients to schedule a consultation visit, and meet with the provider, prior to beginning medical care. If a certain type of caregiver is desired, it’s important to take time to meet and speak with them first to see if they are a good fit. Try to avoid bringing all prior medical records to the “new” doctor and beginning treatment the same day. Get to know this "new" doctor and discuss with them your treatment options, first.

Quick Note: Avoid the ‘lemon.’ If the doctor doesn’t have what you’re looking for, they aren’t the one for you.

There are a lot of great doctors out there that provide good and safe medical care. It is important to find the one that fits your needs so that you will have the quality healthcare you deserve.


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