The Doctor Search: Progress*

(Courtesy of: http://tinyurl.com/5reubqv)

Earlier this month I posted about my search to find a family doctor in my area.

It’s almost that time for the dreaded yearly physical, and I’ve had enough of going to strange, new doctors every year. Last year’s experience–while not horrible–was uncomfortable enough to really push me to start my search. My ideal? A young-ish, female doctor that someone I know goes to and likes.

So, I started asking around. I posted that I was looking for a doctor on Facebook, and I began asking every woman I knew who her doctor was, how they liked him / her, and whether or not they were taking on new patients.

Luckily, many wonderful people came to my rescue and I began compiling a list of doctors that I could call, hoping that I might luck out with one.

I also mentioned that I registered with Health Care Connect. In less than 10 days after I filed my application I received a packed in the mail with the information of my “Health Care Connector” who was actively looking for a doctor for me. I was very impressed with how quick the turn around time was.

So I had the package… but what do I do with it?

I had quite a bit of time off this week (it’s exam week for high school students), so on Wednesday I sat down with my list of doctors and decided to start making some calls. I began with a female doctor that was closest to where I live. I called the office and politely asked the receptionist if said doctor was taking on new patients. She abruptly told me to call Health Care Connect and dolled out a 1-800 number before hanging up.

I was a little put off, and extremely confused. Hadn’t I already registered for that?!

I called the number she gave me and was forwarded to my health care connector. She was very nice, and explained that most doctor’s offices get so many calls asking about new patients that they forward everything through Health Care Connect now.

She asked me for the name of the doctor I called, and I held my breath while she looked her up. She then happily told me that this doctor was taking on new patients–though only through the HCC system–and that she was actually the doctor closest to me and I probably would have been matched with her anyway.

The fact that I called just sped up the process. Big time.

She forwarded my records over to the office, and I should receive a package from the doctor in the next two weeks. After that, I just have to call & make an appointment to go in and voila! I have a doctor!

How awesome is that?

I know I haven’t met her yet, but knowing that someone I know goes to her and feels comfortable with her makes me feel worlds better. It’s not some random stranger in a walk-in clinic to whom I am just another face–this is hopefully someone I can see every year, or whenever I’m not feeling well.

So, all I can say is, if you live in Ontario and don’t have a family doctor yet–definitely, definitely register with Health Care Connect. I am so impressed with their speed and service, and I hope that I’ll have post about my new doctor for you in the next six weeks.

Now here’s my big question: this will be my first time meeting a doctor–what sort of questions should I ask?

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4 Comments

  • KLo

    “Where did you go to medical school?” Heehee, just kidding : )

    I would try to have an actual conversation with her. Go in with a list of concerns, past medical issues, questions you might have related to your health, and so on to get a feel for where she’s coming from and what her approach is.

    I see a nurse practitioner, and I just adore her. She’s really honest and is always willing to give me options. As just one example, I get horrible migraines, and the migraine medicine kind of turns me into a zombie. She told me about a new treatment for migraines–an off-the-label use of amitriptyline for keeping migraines at bay. Let me just say … wow. My Max-Alt zombie moments are few and far between : )

    I think you’ll know once you meet her, to make a very long story short : ) It’s a gut thing.

  • Date Girl

    I think it’s great that you go to a yearly physical. I have Kaiser here in the states and it kind of stinks for proactive health care. I don’t see my doctor unless I am sick. I do get to email her though which is nice I suppose, but it lacks that face to face time and I definitely don’t feel that comfortable with her. When we decide to have kids, I’m definitely going to research and find a doctor that I feel very comfortable with. Hope you like yours!!

  • Anonamom

    “Will you agree that you will never refer me to a specialist that you would not have a member of your family go to?”

    I think it’s important to get that out there. There are some terrible specialists, and the doctors know who they are.

    And – when I was interviewing for doctors in the Great White North, when there was still an option, I asked them what their grades were like in Med School (I chose the guy who said he was solidly in the middle of the pack). It was a bit of an awkward question to ask – but I think it gives you a feel for the doctor. My (ex) doctor told me he played hockey while still in Med School. and it affected his grades. I thought having a well-balanced person to be the family doctor had its merits. And it did. He was wonderful!

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