If you have had to change physicians over the years, you know how distressing it can be. Especially if you have gone to the same physician for many years. Circumstances change when your physician retires, changes jobs or moves and you suddenly find yourself looking for a new physician or switching to the doctor who took over your previous care givers practice.
To transition to someone new needs some give and take on both sides. Staying open minded to someone else’s delivery of care will help make things go more smoothly. So, some things to keep in mind are:
Make an appointment as soon as you can to meet the new doctor. Meeting them before you get into a medical crisis can be beneficial.
At your first appointment be prepared with your your health history and list of medications.
Understand that a new physician may make changes in your medications. Every physician has their own way of doing things and lean to certain medications over others. And be prepared for some lab work to support the need of certain medications that you have been on for a long period of time.
Don’t expect refills on narcotic medications without seeing the physician first. The new physician will want to review why you are on those medications and confirm that you still need them.
Get to know the new office staff. Learning their names can be helpful when having to call the office for appointments or getting lab results.
If the office uses an automated answering system, ask for extension numbers for the nurse to get through the system faster.
If the new physician does some things differently from your previous doctor that shouldn’t be taken as a criticism of your former physician.
Be prepared to see a nurse practitioner or physician assistant at times. They help support the physician and can help ease a very busy schedule. They will know when to call the physician in for help.
Try to get to know the routine of the new physician’s office. Learning the best times to call the office. Find out when they stop answering the phones and who to talk to about lab results.
Most of all give the new doctor a chance. You might end up liking them as much as you liked your former physician