What to Ask a New Doctor on a First Visit?

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Medical Exam
Medical Exam

We need to each take responsibility for our own physical health. An important part of this responsibility is selecting the right doctor. You should be comfortable with your doctor so that you can discuss any health issues and the right course of prevention and treatment. When selecting a new doctor, you must be prepared to ask questions in order to find the doctor who is the best match for you.

Questions for Yourself

Stop and think for a minute about the characteristics and background your ideal doctor would possess. Ask yourself the following types of questions:

Is it important to me if the doctor is male or female? Is the age of my doctor important? Do I care about specialties? Do I only want to see a doctor who attended a specific school?

Office Questions

You not only want to be comfortable with a new doctor, you also want to be comfortable with the office and staff. Ask questions that will help you understand the office environment.

Are they taking new patients? What are the office hours? What is the average wait time for an appointment? How are emergencies handled? How are off hours, or last minute, appointments handled? What hospital do they refer to? Are medical records kept electronically? What is the parking situation? Do you accept my insurance? Do you work directly with the insurance company for payment? Are there other services such as lab, x-ray, pharmacy in your building? If not, where do I need to go? What is the cancellation policy? When is payment expected? What forms of payment do you take?

New Doctor Questions

Meet with your new doctor and be prepared to ask, and answer, questions. After your first meeting assess your comfort level with this doctor. Did you like their personality? Did they treat you with respect and listen carefully to your concerns? Do you feel confident they are the doctor for you? Here are some questions to get you started.

Are you board certified? Where did you attend medical school? How do you keep up to date on the latest medical advancements? What experience do you have with my particular illness or medical needs? What percentage of your practice are patients in my demographics? (Male, female, age and such.) re you comfortable with a patient who asks questions? What do you expect from your patients? Do you work with specialists? How does the referral process work? Will I see you at every appointment? Is this a shared practice? Will I see a nurse practitioner?

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