Your family doctor is one of the most important supports you have for staying well but how do you find a good one?
You may be moving to a new area or just aren't happy with your current doctor. Luckily there are a number of things to increase the chances that your new doctor will be good for you and your family.
1. Search Online: You can find just about anything online and this includes health professionals. State and national medical associations have lists of qualified doctors that you can search by area. This is a great starting point to find out who is about. Once you have some names you can also search Google for reviews before you make an appointment. To do this just type in the doctor's name with the word 'reviews' or 'review'. It's best if you use this format - "Dr John Smith" reviews - because it will make your search more targeted and give you fewer pages to search through.
2. Ask Others You Trust: Sometimes the local pharmacist will know of good doctors in your area. Or if you are moving to a new area your prior doctor may know of someone that is good in the area you are moving to. Friends and family might also have a doctor they like. Remember though that sometimes a doctor your friend likes will not be a good match with what you are looking for. People have different opinions on what makes a good doctor - their personalities, how they treat illnesses (some people may prefer a more holistic doctor while others a more traditional one, for example). Choosing a doctor is actually a very personal decision. This makes the next tip a very important one when you are choosing a new doctor.
3. See For Yourself: It's always a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor you are thinking of using to see what they are like. This will allow you to see what their manner is like with patients, what their approach is to medicine and whether they have knowledge or experience in any medical conditions that you or your family may have or get on a regular basis. This will help you to get a good 'match' with what you need.