How to Shop for a New Doctor


Whether because of a move to a new city, a change in health insurance, or the retirement of a favorite practitioner, having to find a new doctor is a task few people enjoy. The relationship you have with a doctor is built on trust, and in many cases that trust has built and deepened over time. So when you have to shop for a new doctor, where do you even begin?

A helpful analogy to keep in mind is a job interview process—when looking for a new doctor, you’re effectively “hiring” someone to fill a position in your life. Think about the traits you want from this expert, and ask yourself what matters most to you: Do you want a doctor whose office is close to your home? Is it important for the doctor to offer weekend and/or evening appointments? If you’re looking for a family doctor, consider the needs and preferences of your partner and children as well.

Many health insurance providers feature a find-a-doctor search function on their website, with many search criteria to help you pinpoint professionals meeting your needs. Once you’ve found some options, start calling offices. Just because a doctor hits all your major points on paper doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship is a slam dunk. Find out if the office is currently accepting new patients, and ask any other initial questions you have.

For more helpful questions to ask a potential doctor—and yourself when shopping for one—check out this video from Dr. Oz.