Changing doctors in 4 easy steps

Thinking of changing doctors? The process is not as stressful as you may think. It’s important to explore the reasons behind your decision, and understand how to change doctors in order for you to receive the best care and find the right fit for your unique needs.

Reasons for switching doctors:

There are many reasons that people consider switching doctors, such as:


  • Your insurance has changed — If you change insurance providers or get a new plan, sometimes you have to change doctors in order to stay in your network. Your doctor knows that this happens, so don’t be afraid to talk to them about needing to make a change.

  • You need a fresh approach to your treatment — Sometimes, you may lose confidence in your treatment plan and need a fresh perspective. Again, this happens and your doctor will understand if you need a different kind of care.

  • You’re moving out of the area — Moving comes with a number of transitions, and you may find that you’d like to explore doctors that are closer to your new location.
No matter what reason you have for switching doctors, it’s understandable and it happens all the time. Your doctor may even be able to help you find another provider, depending on your circumstances.

How to change doctors:

When researching how to change doctors in your network, be sure to evaluate your decision carefully and learn what makes a good doctor-patient relationship. We’ve broken this down in just 4 easy steps:


1. Be sure that changing doctors is the solution — Changing doctors can be a lengthy process, and making a change can have an impact on how your health is managed. Really evaluate your reasons for switching before making any decisions. Ask yourself if you’re seeking a new doctor for reasons that can be resolved in any other way. Or, is a change the only option?
For instance, if you have questions about your health that you need your doctor to address, a candid conversation may help ease those feelings of uncertainty. 


2. Have one last meeting with your doctor before you switch — If you’ve decided you want to proceed with a change, now it’s time to make sure all your bases are covered. Remember that doctors have patients that transition to the care of other doctors all the time. Some even have hundreds of patients, so they’re used to this process.
However, it’s important to avoid ending the relationship on negative terms. If the choice to move is for negative reasons and you feel the explanation could be constructive, consider sharing that information with your doctor. A final appointment with your current doctor is also a good chance to get an update on any ongoing treatment and take that information to your new doctor.


3. Identify your potential new doctor and do your homework — First and foremost, make sure the new doctor you choose accepts your insurance. Be sure that they are available and accepting new patients as well. If they’re available, schedule an appointment to visit them and ask a lot of questions.
As you talk with a new doctor, take notes and consider: Is this doctor easy to talk to? Do they listen well? How comfortable are you with them?


4. If the match is right, finalize the move — Once you’ve made the decision to move forward with your new doctor, make the transition easier by seeing that your medical records are transferred. This will help ensure your first wellness visit goes smoothly.

Hopefully these tips can help you have a healthy transition and a healthy future with your new doctor. Learn more about CenterWell to see if our board-certified doctors and care team are right for you.
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