Starting Over With a New Doctor: Four Tips for a Stress-Free Transition

2016-05-18_LHCSeeing a new doctor for the first time can be slightly stressful, even if you know switching doctors is in your best interest. Perhaps you just moved to a new neighborhood that is no longer convenient to your old doctor’s office or your previous doctor retired. You may have decided a particular physician is not the best match for your personality or health goals.

How do you make sure the first appointment with a new health care provider is positive and productive? Try these four tips for a smooth transition and a stress-free visit with your new doctor.

1. Retrieve Medical Records – Your new doctor will need the medical records from your previous doctor. This helps provide valuable information, such as a history of immunizations, tests, screenings, surgeries, and any previous treatments. You can either request your medical records from your previous provider’s office, or your new doctor will have a form you can sign to have the information sent directly to the office.

2. Make a List of Medications and Allergies – Even if your new doctor obtains your medical records in advance, it’s still a good idea to bring a list of medications and any drug or food allergies. For current medications, it is important to know the name of the medication as well as the dosage and how often you take it.

3. Know Your History – Knowing your family’s health history can help the doctor determine the best screenings for you and the best age at which to start the screenings. For example, if a patient has a family history of colon cancer, the doctor may suggest having the first colonoscopy before the usual recommended age of 50.

4. Ask Two Types of Questions – With a new physician, there are two types of questions you should be asking. You’ll want to be sure you understand office policies and processes for scheduling appointments, obtaining prescription refills, and other similar matters. You will probably also have questions related to your individual health and care. Be sure to write down your questions before your visit. If you’re a little flustered, having a list with you will help you stay focused and make the most of the doctor’s time.

Possible questions for your new doctor include:

  • How do I contact you when I have a question?
  • How far in advance do I need to make appointments?
  • Where do I go if I need urgent or emergency care?
  • Where do I go if I need care after hours or on weekends?
  • Can you explain why you are ordering any specific tests or procedures?
  • When can I expect to start feeling better or seeing results? (If you have an illness and were prescribed medication or treatment)

Shopping for a Doctor?

If you need a new primary care physician, LeBauer Primary Care at MedCenter High Point offers comprehensive care for the entire family. The office is open until 7 p.m. four nights a week. You can Make an Appointment online or call 336-884-3800 to schedule an appointment today.

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