These days, it's not uncommon for people to switch doctors. Whether you've recently relocated to Idaho Falls, changed insurance carriers or were simply dissatisfied with your past physician, it's important to take the time to find someone you feel comfortable with and who fits the criteria you have in mind.

Once you find a new doctor, whether through referrals or an insurance provider, take the time to get to know more about them and their practice. We've put together a list of basic questions to use as a starting point to begin an open dialogue with your new doc. As you read the list, be sure to write down any other questions that may arise.

  • Are you covered by my insurance? We recommend verifying this information through your insurance provider's own website or customer service number as well.
  • At which hospitals do you practice? You may be looking for a provider near your home or someone who practices in a hospital with which you're already familiar.
  • How easy is it to book an appointment? Some practices offer “open-access” scheduling, where doctors typically leave part of each day unscheduled so they can offer some same-day appointments.
  • Do you keep paper or electronic medical records? Computer-based record-keeping is considered a major step toward improving the quality and efficiency of medical care. Decide if this is an important indicator for you.
  • Do you take questions by e-mail or phone? Will I be charged? E-mail or telephone can be great for non-emergency matters: an appointment, an overlooked question, a medication side effect or any question requiring only a yes or no answer.
  • How do you feel about homeopathic treatments or alternative medicine? If you are into alternative medicine, it's important to know whether your doctor will be an advocate for the same types of treatments you seek.
  • Is your practice affiliated with an urgent care center? If you find yourself needing emergency care, is there a certain ER your doctor works with?

If you're still searching for a new doctor, we can help. Visit our website for a convenient way to search for doctors by specialty.

October 28, 2017
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