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Question of the Week - Is There a Doctor in the House?

Let's not talk about the healthcare bill, 'mkay? No need to start that debate up over here. I'm sure everyone can find a place to rant one way or another elsewhere.

But we have had a lot of sickness and health issues in my house over the last week. We are all sick with stuffy noses, coughs and general coldiness. Add Londo's root canal and the Pumpkin's 5 days of fever (now an ear infection in the other ear and possibly her lungs!), and perhaps you all see why I haven't been writing all the blog posts that I have in my head.

I'm thrilled to say that we have really good health insurance (however dental is only okay). We also have great pediatricians, thanks to a good recommendation from a friend when I was pregnant with the Pumpkin. I have wonderful OB/GYN doctors, dentist and eye doctor (oops! Forgot to make that eye doctor appointment yet again!). Londo has a doctor he likes.

However, I still haven't found a general practitioner for me. Although to be fair, I haven't tried very hard. I find the task a bit daunting, because I have to change my primary physician on my insurance before the insurance will cover a visit. But how do I know if I want to change before I visit? I've been hoping to get a good recommendation, but I haven't found anyone who raves about their doctor yet. Once I do, I plan to ask to do an interview (free of charge) with them to see if I like their practice--the way we did with the pediatrician. I don't know if any general practitioners do that, but it can't hurt to ask.

So this week's entirely self-serving Question of the Week is:

How do you find a good doctor?

I'm leaving that wide open so you all can answer with whatever you want.

Do you ask for recommendations from friends? Referral from other doctors (that's how we found my OB)? Pick a name out of the phone book? What do you do if you don't like the doctor your HMO gives you? What criteria do you use to select your doctors? How easy is it for you to find a new doctor? What do you do?


Jac. said…
My OB (who I loved) referred my family doctor to me. I also love my family doctor - so I would probably recommend getting that referral from another doctor that you like and trust.
hush said…
Know any physicians in residency and/or young physicians to ask? That's how I found both of my OBs. And my GP. And the ENT I just took DS to this am. I firmly believe at just about every academic hospital there is an unspoken "go to" doctor who cares for nearly all of the residents/ drs/spouses/ partners, etc. For example, we asked around and identified said "go to" dr in both of the places we have lived in while pregnant, and perhaps not coincidentally, we got lucky and had good birth experiences. I've found that while bad news travels fast, positive news goes a lot slower - just keep digging.
Becoming Mommy said…
I have a few ways I look for a doctor: the provider list, recommendations (which is how I found my dentist--I like him, hubby does NOT), and once I have a name I do a little background on the internet. I check reviews and if they have any actions against them.

I like providers who are open to alternative medicine and bonus if they offer it at their practice. To me, it shows they are interested in making YOU well and comfortable and aren't rigid so rigid in their treatment and diagnosis that you can miss out.

I'm not a huge fan of our GP at the moment, but the practice has such high turnover it'll change soon. Anyway, I only use it for things like ear infections. They can acuse me of smoking and insist I have high cholesterol (it's 118) all they want so long as they treat my minor ailments appropriately.
paola said…
In Italy you are assigned a doctor near where you live. I don't know if this is the case for non-Italians, but assume so.

When I first came I got an ok doctor ( OK according to my MIL and future hubby that is), but I hated having to wait 2 hours for him just to give me a referal to a specialist or prescribe some medication. I only went to him once or twice in the 3 years I had him. When I went to live with hubby I was legally permitted to have my hubby's doctor who, according to MIL and hub,is one of the best in town.

The same happend with our ped. In town there were 3. 2 crap ones (I mean really crap)and one ACE doctor who fortunately was the new kid on the block and only had a few patients 5 years ago. Another Mum I know went thru all the peds and recommended this one. She also was the only of the 3 who was pro-breastfeeding. That was enough for me to decide that she was the one I wanted.
Anonymous said…
I too got referrals from my OB, and also from a parenting listserv. I was without a PCP for a while. When I got an iinfection I learned that if you don't have an initial visit with your proimary care provider, you can't go for a sick visit. Thankfully, I could be seen at the CVS minute clinic, but it scared me.
My OB is actually a midwife (CNM) and she helps me with lots of things...
Cloud said…
I've got a lot of blog posts in my head right now, too! Stinking 6 month growth spurt.

I find a doctor via referrals from other doctors I like.

However, we lucked into our pediatrician- the one we picked got sick and so we had to pick a different one. We just picked our favorite of the parade we saw in the hospital, and that worked really well.
I know this sounds odd, but I choose doctors who do a lot of work at low income clinics. These docs are usually the most compassionate and caring. Our general medical doctor is such a peach. I actually saw him hug a homeless woman in the room across from us, hand her a $20 bill and tell her to take care. She had stringy hair and no teeth and he hugged her. It takes a special kind of doctor to do that! (Of course I noticed he then went and changed his shirt...)
Lindsey Petersen

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