It can be stressful to search for a new doctor, but sometimes you have no choice.
How to Choose a Doctor
Your doctor may have retired, you may have moved, or you may need a new kind of specialist.
Remember that your doctor, especially your primary physician, is an important person in your life. Take your time and bear in mind the following:
Six questions to ask in choosing a doctor
1. Does he or she have experience in treating older women? As we age our bodies change in ways that can affect how we react to medications; symptoms of illnesses may appear differently.
2. Will you feel comfortable talking to this person about personal or embarrassing issues?
3. If this is your primary doctor, is he or she able and willing to coordinate your health services and medications? This is an increasingly important issue as we accumulate medications and problems that have to be made to work together.
4. Does your doctor have Board Certification?
5. Is there a record of complaints or a disciplinary history?
6. Does he or she take Medicare patients?
Note: If you’re choosing a specialist, it's also a good idea to check out how many years of experience the doctor has had in this specialty. If surgery is involved, how many of these procedures has he or she performed? Some web sites include patient ratings. While some of these matters have to be explored in person, others can be investigated on the internet.
Four sites to help you find a doctor
"The leading independent health care rating company for doctors, dentists, hospitals." (U.S. only) According to Wikipedia: Healthgrades Inc. is a U.S. company that develops and markets quality and safety ratings of health care providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and dentists. Quality ratings are devised from publicly available patient safety data and analyzed with proprietary technology developed by Healthgrades."
Free site for patients to rate doctors and dentists. Over one million ratings for physicians in the U.S. and Canada. Australia, UK, India, and elsewhere. Also gives information on how to rate a doctor or dentist. Founded in 2004, it has the largest list of International patient-submitted doctor and dentist ratings and is visited by over one million patients."
ZocDoc is a free, easy-to-use site. You fill out a brief online form asking for a doctor within a medical specialty who takes Medicare. write in your zip code, and you’re done. ZocDoc with pull up a list of doctors in your area. You can check each doctor’s education, professional qualifications and specialties, foreign languages spoken, plus read some patient reviews. You can even book an appointment online. All at no cost.
DoctorFinder provides professional information on virtually every American Medical Association licensed doctor in the U.S. and its territorial possessions. Includes over 814,000 physicians.