August 16, 2021 Posted in How-to
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience

How to Find a New Doctor When You Move – Best Tips for Choosing a Physician

If you are due to relocate soon, you probably have many tasks to tackle. One of the priorities is to determine how to find a new doctor when you move. Since most of us don’t require medical attention right away, we tend to postpone this. But it’s always better to be on the safe side.

A doctor on your new address overlay
Finding a good healthcare provider before you move should be a top priority

When we relocate, we have to tackle many things. We must put our items on a household inventory list so the cross-country movers can estimate the value of household goods. Then there’s packing and other things you must do to organize your move skillfully. Amidst all that organizational chaos, it’s easy to forget such an important thing as finding a doctor in a new city before you head out of your old home. You may experience some unforeseen illness, and in that case, it’s crucial to have an established medical practitioner.

Why Is It Important to Know How to Find a New Doctor When You Move

Many things associated with relocating to another state alone may seem crucial, but we hardly see healthcare services before moving as something of utter importance. But there’s one thing you should keep in mind if you skip this vital step, especially when you relocate with kids. If you require healthcare services, the fact that you are not an established patient will leave you in a waiting line that could stretch for months just to get the first appointment. This fact alone should bring finding appropriate medical practitioners to the top of your to-do list.

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Concentrating on how to find a new doctor after moving is essential for your health

Determine Your Current Needs

Before you contact the long-distance movers and invest in cross-country moving services, you should conduct a more thorough search. But first, it’s essential to know that there are several types of primary care providers:

  • Family practice physicians are a general type of doctors who can treat patients of any age and can be the primary care physician for your whole family. They offer preventative care, evaluate symptoms, can treat a wide variety of common chronic conditions, and let their patients know when they require an examination by a specialist. They offer routine checkups, including well-baby and child visits, immunizations, screening tests, health risk assessments, as well as healthy lifestyle counseling.
  • General practice physicians are similar to family practice. Their duties include assessing their patients with a review of their medical history and a physical examination. After these initial steps, they may order additional tests, recommend treatment, or suggest a specialist.
  • Internal medicine physicians typically treat adults. Their expertise enables them to treat common chronic conditions and more complex medical issues while also specializing in treating long-term chronic illnesses.

One other type of physician you might want to consider is a pediatrician. If you’ve found a job that requires relocation and you are taking your family with you, you’ll need a good physician for your children. A pediatrician will serve as the primary care physician for your kids.

An Additional Thing to Consider Is the Proximity of a Healthcare Practitioner

When we relocate, making friends in another city is not the only thing we should concentrate on. Long before you make an appointment with your doctor, you should consider a few things. If you are relocating to the suburbs, you will probably commute to your workplace, and that’s why you need to think about which location for your physician to choose. Having a physician near the place you work has its advantages, while the one closest to your home may be the better option if they are treating your whole family. The following video talks about the field of work for primary care physicians.

Your Insurance Network May Be a Good Starting Point

If you’ve managed to get a job before you’ve moved from one part of the country to a big city, you will probably get a new health insurance carrier. Initially, you should check on your insurance coverage, which includes deductibles, co-pays, and requirements for specialist referral. It’s a good starting point for finding a physician, too, especially if you want to avoid paying large sums of money.

It’s a Smart Move to Ask Your Current Doctor for Referrals

While you’re making a list of relocation questions to ask the employer, you should also compose a few inquiries for your current healthcare practitioner. One of the common mistakes people tend to make when they relocate is to skip one last check with their physician, and it is even more true with last-minute relocating. But since our health is essential, you should make an appointment. Use the last visit to ask if they have contacts in the area you’re relocating to. If not, perhaps they can give you a bit of good advice on how to conduct your search.

Your Friends May Have Good Recommendations

Before we set on cross-country moving, we tell our friends about relocating, and we inform our relatives as well. And usually, they are the ones we turn to when we want all sorts of recommendations – from finding good realtors, a reliable long-distance moving company, or where to look for a veterinarian when we relocate with pets. And as necessary as it is to find a pet doctor when we relocate with dogs or perhaps with cats, it is vital to our health to have a healthcare practitioner when health issues arise. That’s why it’s critical to ask our friends and family to refer us to a few select doctors. Just keep in mind that not everyone’s needs are the same and that the physicians fit for others may not be what you require.

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Your friends and family may have just the proper recommendations and help you in your search

Don’t Disregard the Power of an Online Search

There are plenty of things we search for online. Since relocations are complex, we search for reliable movers to give us a helping hand. We check through their websites whether they offer packing service to their customers or storage service for our belongings. A good company will even have an auto transport service available.

The internet can similarly help you in your search for a physician. Sites like the American Medical Association’s DoctorFinder provide information and rankings concerning all healthcare practitioners in the US and display a list of doctors in the desired area. Healthgrades and Doctor Directory are among other sites which databases you can research.

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Several sites can help you find a physician in your desired area

When You’ve Narrowed Down Your Research Options, Check the Credentials

There’s a lot of tasks on your plate right after you move in. You have to unpack after a move, do a little house cleaning, and change your address. But squeezing in further search for a physician is a must, and since you’ve probably narrowed your search to a select few doctors, it’s important to look at their credentials and reviews as well.

The Doctor’s Level of Medical Expertise Is an Important Factor

Finding the cheapest way to move out of state and other relocating hacks are crucial for a smooth relocation. But tackling each task means that, even if you think you’re optimistic about the choice of physicians, you should take a step further and look at their educational background and level of expertise. The time and effort they put into their education will show if they are up-to-date with treatments and improving their knowledge.

Perhaps You’ll Find a Physician’s Experience to Be a Decisive Factor

Primary healthcare practitioners may help us with different issues. If we feel anxiety about moving out, they can recommend a specialist or recommend treatment if we’re having trouble sleeping after the move. A more experienced physician will provide us with a better outcome if they have extensive familiarity with a specific condition.

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A doctor’s experience, credentials and expertise are relevant

Don’t Forget to Research the Hospitals in the New Area

Relocations are complex, and we have to keep our minds on many important things. While we search for our future physicians, we may forget to broaden our search to hospitals in the area we’re settling in. And since the healthcare system and hospitals within it are very often decisive factors when we pick the neighborhood we will live in. If you are close to a well-rated hospital, you should check for potential physicians that work there.

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If there are any good hospitals in your area, check them for potential doctors

Set Up an Appointment for Consultations

We want to feel safe in every aspect of our life. We use different tools to help check how safe the neighborhood we’re moving into is, and we baby proof the house to ensure that our toddlers are safe. We think thoroughly about our relocating budget when we move and pack a bag of relocating essentials to live through the first few days in the new home. It’s not that different from our primary care physicians because they are someone we should rely on. Whether you choose to contact them via an introductory phone call or set up an appointment, you can discuss your current medication and medical history to determine you are on the same page about it.

Team Care Is a Potential Plus

If you have some trouble adjusting after moving cross country and you don’t know how to deal with stress, it would be good if the practitioner’s office has a sense of team care for their patients. Check if they have other services available, such as a nutritionist, or will the nurse respond to the medical questions over the phone.

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If your doctor’s office has an available team, it’s a great advantage

Before You Make a Final Decision, Consider Some Additional Questions

Before you make up your mind altogether, you should ask a few more questions, such as what kind of papers will be required to register with the healthcare practitioner, and you will need to arrive early to fill out the paperwork each time. The working hours of the practitioner’s office and whether the physician is available on weekends are valuable pieces of information. It’s also important to know if they have after-hours phone care or even overnight phone service. Ask how soon you can get appointments, how long is the typical waiting time to see the physician once the patients arrive, and your options when they are fully booked. Find out if the tests are conducted in medical labs in the doctor’s office, or you should travel elsewhere to conduct them. In the end, find out if the office has an online portal where you can access all of your conducted tests and your records.


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