Long-distance moving or moving to an unfamiliar area is scary enough without worrying about your health.  Unfortunately, medical issues arise when you least expect them.  You could break a bone, develop a relentless toothache, or need an emergency appendectomy.  If you think you can wait to locate a new doctor or dentist when you arrive at your new home, think again, especially if you have a chronic condition.  Arm yourself before you move by finding new doctors in advance, so you don’t have to start life in your new home, sick, injured, and alone.

What Doctor Do You Need?

Weeks before you even begin packing your moving boxes, figure out what doctors you visit regularly and what medical professionals you will need to see in order to monitor and maintain your health.  If you’re in good health, you may only need to find a few good doctors and locate the closest hospital for future reference.

Get Recommendations

If you’re moving locally or to a neighboring city or state, ask your current doctors for recommendations on doctors in their field or ones at another office within their practice.  Contact your insurance company for their list of suggested and available doctors.  A national insurance company could elicit many resources for you.  When relocating to a big metropolitan area, contact local hospitals for their suggestions and see what medical care they specialize in and offer.  Your real estate agent or new employers could offer their input, too, if you’re long-distance moving.

Will You Be Mine?

Before you designate a doctor as yours, you need to do some investigation just like when you found a new home and hired a moving company.  Find out what hospitals the doctors are affiliated with and what that will mean for you as a patient.  Check out their credentials via the Internet and by contacting organizations like the American Board of Medical Specialties, says Consumer Reports.   One way of narrowing down your choices is figuring out which doctors’ offices are closest to your house.  Once you’ve shortened your list more, call up the offices of doctors you’re considering and find out if they are currently accepting new patients.  If they are, you can either schedule a consultation with the doctor or request to speak to the doctor if possible for an informal interview.

Visit the Office

Unless you’re too far away, the best method to decide if a doctor is right for you is to make an appointment to visit their facility.  Upon entering the office, you will observe if it’s clean, efficient, crowded, or empty and if the office staff is friendly and accommodating.  While you’re there, ask about their office hours and after-hours care as well as messaging and emergency service.  Whatever concerns you have should be addressed before enlisting the doctor in your care.  You should assess the doctor’s demeanor toward you and other patients, if their style of medical care suits your particular needs, and if you’re comfortable asking the doctor personal questions regarding your health.  When your curiosity is satisfied, you can set up your first appointment after the moving company moves you into your new home.

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