QUESTION: I am in the process of looking for a new doctor. Any suggestions on how I should do my research?
ANSWER: There are many things to consider when selecting a new doctor. The first step is for you to make a list of what is important to you in this new relationship.
Ask yourself what is important to you. Do you prefer a private practice doctor or a group practice? Is the age, sex, race or religion of the doctor important to you? Does the doctor accept your insurance plan. If the doctor accepts Medicare does he accept assignment. Is the doctor taking new clients?
Is the location of his office important to you? Where is the office located and is parking available? Can the office be reached via public transportation? Does the building have an elevator and ramps for the handicapped?
What days and hours does the doctor see patients? How far in advance would you have to make an appointment and what is the average length of an appointment? Who takes care of the patients after hours or when the doctor is unavailable? What hospital is the doctor associated with?
Never forget to ask the office staff how the office runs. A good part of your time will be dealing with the staff. They make your appointments, keep your records and handle the billing. The office staff can make your association with the doctor a pleasant one.
After you have completed your list of what is important to you in a patient-doctor relationship you should gather information about doctors in your area.
Now is the time to ask friends, relatives and work associates and other health professionals for names of doctors they have had good experiences with. Ask specific questions such as, “What did you like best about the doctor?” If a particular doctor’s name comes up often – that may be a strong possibility.
Once you have names of several doctors, check with the office with any other questions you may have. You might also make an appointment with the doctor to see if he meets your expeditions.
At this meeting you may inquire if the doctor has patients your age and how the doctor feels about involving family in case decisions.
After completing your research make your decision and get started with your new physician.
TUESDAY – August 28 – 1:30 to 3:00 pm – Presentation – “Programs and Resources for Veterans” – at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley – Ventura County Veterans Services Officer Mike McManas will provide information on various Veteran benefits – find out what you might be eligible for. For reservations call (805) 583-6363.
TUESDAY – August 28 – 3:30 pm – Slide Show Presentation presented by Collettee Tours – enjoy traveling to Tropical Costa Rica and to Japan to view their Cultural Treasures – at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. To make a reservation or for more information call (805) 381-2744.
WEDNESDAY – August 29 – 11:45 am – August Birthdays Lunch – at Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Avenue in Moorpark. Pamela Vincent will perform Motown Classics for lunch attendees. Lunch reservations are required – call (805) 517-6261. Lunch is $3.00 for those 60 plus and $6.50 for all others.
WEDNESDAY – August 29 – 5:00 – “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” – if you are a baseball fan come join the other fans for Dodger Game Day against the Texas Rangers at the Goebel Stadium. Enjoy Dodger Dogs, popcorn, peanuts and more. Tickets are $5.00 and available at Goebel’s front desk.
THURSDAY/FRIDAY – September 13-14 – 8:30 am to 12:30 pm – AARP Initial 8-hour Smart Driver Course – at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non members. Register at Goebel’s front desk.
Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are located at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E.Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 or call (805) 495-6250 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (please include your telephone number.) You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.