Did you recently move to a new area? Is your doctor retiring? Whatever your reason, you may be in search of a new doctor. Trying to find the right doctor can be a daunting task. We’ve put together this short guide to help you find the perfect provider for you or your loved one.
1. Decide which kind of physician you’d prefer.
As a senior, you have a few different choices when it comes to choosing a doctor. You can see:
- a family doctor, who takes patients of all ages.
- an internist, who sees adult patients.
- a geriatrician, who specializes in seniors.
Each type of physician offers unique benefits and drawbacks. For example, the main benefit of a family doctor is that you can stay with the same doctor for years, leaving him intimately familiar with your health. If you’re looking for a new doctor in advanced age, you don’t get that main benefit, so you may prefer seeing an internist or geriatrician.
There are many areas of overlap between internists and geriatricians, and it can be hard to pin down specific differences between individual doctors. Other factors to take into consideration when making this decision are availability.
2. Choose a doctor associated with a top-notch skilled nursing care facility.
As you age, it becomes more and more likely that you’ll spend time in a skilled nursing or long-term care facility. Each facility has a staff of doctors to make the rounds and check on the residents. Choosing a doctor affiliated with the facility to plan to use will ensure a seamless transition to your new long- or short-term residence. Elmwood Hills is one of the top nursing facilities in Camden County, and our doctors are excellent, too.
3. Use this questionnaire when researching doctors.
Here are some things to ask to help you find out more about your doctor:
- Does this practice accept my insurance?
- Will the office staff submit my insurance claims, or will I have to do it myself?
- Which hospital and/or nursing home is this doctor affiliated with? Make sure you’re comfortable with those facilities.
- Is the doctor’s office easy to get to from my home?
- Is the building wheelchair accessible?
- Does the office have an on-site lab?
- Is it a single practice, or is there a team of doctors?
- Is the staff friendly, courteous, and organized?
You can also solicit recommendations from friends and relatives who live in your area.
Hopefully with these tips you can choose your doctor with confidence that he or she is perfect for you.